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Low temperature CVD processes of boron carbide

Cross sectional SEM micrograph of a boron-carbon film deposited at 600 °C by thermally activated CVD


A novel design for neutron detectors based on the isotope 10B instead of 3He has been suggested by the European Spallation Source (ESS), to overcome the very limited availability of 3He. In the detector design, very large area aluminum blades are coated with a thin film containing high amounts of 10B. 10B4C was chosen as the thin film material instead of pure 10B, since it is easier to handle in a deposition process and due to its high resistance towards oxidation and wear and also because B4C has a higher electrical conductivity.

In this project low temperature CVD, both thermally activated and plasma enhanced, are investigated for deposition of boron carbide films on aluminum blades. Since aluminum is the substrate material, there is an upper temperature limit of 600 °C for the CVD and also the use of BCl3 as boron precursor is prohibited by the aluminum. In this project is instead various organobaranes used as single precursors for both boron and carbon.

This project is done in close collaboration with ESS in Lund, Sweden and the Thin Film Physics group at Linköping University.  



Gas phase chemical vapor deposition chemistry of triethylboron probed by boron-carbon film deposition and quantum chemical calculations
M. Imam, K. Gaul, A. Stegmüller, C. Höglund, J. Jensen, L. Hultman, J. Birch, R. Tonner, H. Pedersen
Journal of Materials Chemistry C 3, 10898-10906 (2015) (FULL OPEN ACCESS)

Low temperature CVD of thin, amorphous boron-carbon films for neutron detectors
H. Pedersen, C. Höglund, J. Birch, J. Jensen, A. Henry
Chemical Vapor Deposition 18, 221 (2012)


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Last updated: 01/13/16