Film deposition on the inner surface of tubes using atmospheric-pressure Ar-CH4, Ar-C2H2 and Ar-C2H2-H-2 plasmas: interpretation of film properties from plasma-chemical kinetics

Ramasamy Pothiraja, Max Engelhardt, Nikita Bibinov, Peter Awakowicz

JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS, Volume: 45, Issue: 33, Article Number: 335202, DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/45/33/335202, Published: AUG 22 2012


A hard hydrocarbon film is deposited on the inner surface of glass tubes using a filamentary discharge at atmospheric pressure in Ar-C2H2-H-2 and Ar-CH4 mixtures. Under similar conditions, a soft film is deposited with a high deposition rate in an Ar-C2H2 mixture. These differences in film hardness and deposition rate are interpreted on the basis of carbon and hydrogen elemental composition in the plasma.

The deposition rate is varied along the axis of the tubes in the Ar-C2H2-H-2 plasma. This can be controlled by controlling the substrate (tube) temperature. Chemical erosion of the deposited film by hydrogen atoms is the probable reason for this effect.

The plasma conditions (gas temperature, electron distribution function and electron density) are characterized by applying optical emission spectroscopy (OES), microphotography and numerical simulation for all three gas mixtures. The density of hydrogen atoms in the inter-electrode region of the tube is determined by applying OES in all gas mixtures. The rates of precursor molecule excitation and follow-up plasma-chemical reactions are calculated on the basis of the determined plasma parameters. Correlations between plasma conditions and film properties are discussed.

tags: plasma