Silicon nitride is a non-oxide compound that is used in the semiconductor industry. It has good thermal and electrical properties, making it an ideal choice for various applications. In particular, silicon nitride has an excellent combination of dielectric properties, excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, and great mechanical strength.
The main use for silicon nitride is in semiconductors, as a passivation layer, dielectric material, or a coating on a conductive substrate. Because of its excellent optical properties, it is also used in photonic devices, such as solar cells. Besides, it is extremely resistant to high temperatures and provides excellent thermal shock resistance.
Silicon nitride is deposited through a variety of methods. Some of these include sputtering, evaporation, and LPCVD. Each method offers unique advantages.
For example, the low pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD) process is particularly suitable for creating thin silicon nitride films. This method uses a more selective slurry, minimizing oxide loss and wafer-scale non-uniformity.
Another important benefit of LPCVD is that it has higher stability against hydrogen. Despite this, the overall cost of silicon nitride coated wafers is dependent on the thickness and desired features.
Another advantage of silicon nitride is that it can be used in a variety of applications, from tele-communications to data communications. Silicon nitride is a good substrate for photovoltaic applications, as well as for antennas, industrial sensors, and high-pressure environments. Moreover, it can be fabricated into micron-sized MEMS devices.
Silicon nitride is also used in rotating bearings, as it is highly oxidation-resistant and resistant to thermal shock.