Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, Vol.14, No.3, 277-299, 1994
An Overall Mechanism for the Deposition of Plasma Polymers from Methane in a Low-Pressure Argon Plasma-Jet
An overall mechanism for plasma polymer deposition from a methane-seeded argon plasma jet was established from experimental measurements and a simplified model of reaction kinetics within the plasma jet. Total mass deposition rates were obtained at various substrate positions and methane flow rates. Methane consumption was estimated from residual gas analysis. The influence of substrate coolant temperature on deposition rate was evaluated. The model was based on particle densities, jet temperature, and jet velocity data published previously, and reaction rate constants from the literature were used. No adjustable parameters were employed in this model. Experimental results for total deposition rate and methane consumption were in good agreement with model predictions, The overall deposition mechanism consists of three steps : Penning ionization of methane by excited argon neutrals, followed by dissociative recombination of CH(x)+ to yield CH, followed by incorporation of CH into the growing film upon impact. Contributions of species other than CH to the total deposition rate are minor, and adsorption is not a prerequisite for incorporation into the growing film.