High-pressure micro-discharges are promising sources of light, ions, and radicals and offer some advantages in materials processing applications as compared to other more conventional discharges. We review here results from etching experiments using stencil masks where the discharge is formed only in the pattern cutout. The mask consists of a thin metal-dielectric structure and is pressed against a Si wafer, which becomes part of the electric circuit. Pattern transfer takes place, albeit the profile shape appears to be limited by the expansion of the plasma into the etched hole at long etch times. We also review experiments on using micro-discharges as sources of radicals for materials deposition applications. In the latter case, the micro-discharges form in metal capillary tubes permitting incorporation of gas flow and a short reaction zone that can be controlled to favour production of specific radicals. We demonstrate these concepts by using CH4/H2 chemistry for diamond deposition on a heated Mo substrate. Good quality micro- and nano-diamond crystals could be produced.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films