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Influence of Thermo-fluid-dynamic Parameters on Fluidics in an Expanding Thermal Plasma Deposition Chamber

Authors: G. Zuppardi, F. Romano


Technology of thin film deposition is of interest in many engineering fields, from electronic manufacturing to corrosion protective coating. A typical deposition process, like that developed at the University of Eindhoven, considers the deposition of a thin, amorphous film of C:H or of Si:H on the substrate, using the Expanding Thermal arc Plasma technique. In this paper a computing procedure is proposed to simulate the flow field in a deposition chamber similar to that at the University of Eindhoven and a sensitivity analysis is carried out in terms of: precursor mass flow rate, electrical power, supplied to the torch and fluid-dynamic characteristics of the plasma jet, using different nozzles. To this purpose a deposition chamber similar in shape, dimensions and operating parameters to the above mentioned chamber is considered. Furthermore, a method is proposed for a very preliminary evaluation of the film thickness distribution on the substrate. The computing procedure relies on two codes working in tandem; the output from the first code is the input to the second one. The first code simulates the flow field in the torch, where Argon is ionized according to the Saha-s equation, and in the nozzle. The second code simulates the flow field in the chamber. Due to high rarefaction level, this is a (commercial) Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code. Gas is a mixture of 21 chemical species and 24 chemical reactions from Argon plasma and Acetylene are implemented in both codes. The effects of the above mentioned operating parameters are evaluated and discussed by 2-D maps and profiles of some important thermo-fluid-dynamic parameters, as per Mach number, velocity and temperature. Intensity, position and extension of the shock wave are evaluated and the influence of the above mentioned test conditions on the film thickness and uniformity of distribution are also evaluated.

Keywords: Deposition chamber, Direct Simulation Mote Carlo method (DSMC), Plasma chemistry, Rarefied gas dynamics.

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