Thermal plasma synthesis of nanostructured silicon carbide films

Steven L Girshick, Jami Hafiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Two methods for the synthesis of nanostructured silicon carbide films are discussed and compared, thermal plasma chemical vapour deposition (TPCVD) and hypersonic plasma particle deposition (HPPD). Both methods produce β-SiC films with high growth rates on the order of 10 νm min-1. In TPCVD the generation of nanoscale grain sizes is caused by the fact that the film growth rate is much higher than the rate of surface diffusion. In HPPD a nanostructured film is grown by direct nanoparticle impact. In general, the films grown by TPCVD are denser and harder than in HPPD. X-ray diffraction spectra show that β-SiC is essentially the only crystalline phase in the TPCVD films, whereas in HPPD a silicon crystalline phase is also present, even for films that are overall carbon-rich. Evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that HPPD films actually grow by a combination of nanoparticle impact and CVD. If this parallel process can be controlled, it could potentially lead to the design and high-rate synthesis of new nanostructured materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberS15
Pages (from-to)2354-2360
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 21 2007


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