Small-scale high-strength silicon carbide fibers fabricated from thin films produced by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition

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Research units

  • Cornell University


Microfahrication technology has been used to produce free-standing SixCj Hy fibers of precisely controlled geometry and composition from thin films deposited by PECVD. The films were deposited in a parallel plate reactor from a mixture of SiH4 and CH4. The atomic composition of the films was determined using RBS and forward recoil spectroscopy (FRES). The film composition was varied from x ~ Q.2-D.8 by adjusting the gas How, the plasma frequency (30 kHz or 13.56 MHz), and plasma power. The films deposited at 300 °C contained from 33 to 50 at. % of hydrogen. The density, internal stress and refractive index of the films were measured. These properties were strongly dependent on gas flow ratio and plasma frequency. The lower frequency plasma yielded denser and higher compressive stress material with higher refractive index. Photolithography and reactive ion etching techniques were used to pattern the films into one centimeter long self-supporting fibers with cross-sectional areas in the gauge section ranging from 1 to 2 /μr. Tensile strength and elastic modulus measurements of these fibers were used to evaluate the films. Fibers with an average tensile strength of up to 2.9 GPa were obtained, suggesting a novel way to produce high strength SiC fibers of controlled geometry and composition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1426
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 4315924