Mechanically robust silica-like coatings deposited by microwave plasmas for barrier applications

Anna Maria Coclite*, François De Luca, Karen K. Gleason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dense and flexible silicon dioxide-like barrier coatings were deposited by microwave postdischarge (downstream plasma). The optical transparency, recyclability, and compatibility with microwave usage are some of the advantages of SiOx offers as compared to thin metallic coatings. Generally, porous silicon dioxide coatings with poor barrier properties are obtained by microwave downstream plasmas, because of limited ion bombardment. Here, we demonstrate that by using very high powers, mechanically robust, barrier coatings deposit both by pulsed and continuous microwave downstream discharges. These SiOx coatings exhibit hardness comparable to Al 2O3, but have higher elasticity. Thus, the SiOx have superior cohesion and the ability to recover after cracking. The high critical tensile and compression strain for crack formation demonstrates that these coatings are very resistant and flexible. Correspondingly, a two orders of magnitude barrier improvement is obtained with 100-nm-thick-coating deposited by continuous discharge. The films deposited by pulsed discharges show better elasticity and flexibility but slightly lower barrier performances compared to the coatings deposited by continuous discharges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061502
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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