Fundamental understanding of radical-surface interactions during plasma deposition of Si thin films is essential for developing rational deposition strategies. We have developed a visualization tool for monitoring the surface bond strain evolution during film growth. This tool is used to examine the local structural changes in the vicinity of the growth surface when a chemical reaction occurs during molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations of Si thin-film deposition and aids in the analysis of radical-surface interactions. Results are presented for the surface bond strain distribution when an SiH3 radical inserts into an Si-Si dimer on an H-terminated Si(001)-(2 × 1) surface during the initial stage of deposition. This type of analysis is particularly helpful in understanding the reactions and migration of the SiH3 radical on the surface of plasma-deposited hydrogenated amorphous Si films.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Manuscript received June 19, 2001; revised September 17, 2001. This work was supported by the NSF/DoE Partnership for Plasma Science and Engineering under awards DMR-9713280 and ECS-0078711, and by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation through Camille Dreyfus Teacher–Scholar Awards to E. Aydil and D. Maroudas.
- Amorphous silicon
- Bond strain
- Molecular dynamics
- Plasma CVD
- Radical-surface interactions
- Surface relaxation