Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a technique for the fabrication of thin films of polymeric materials, which has successfully overcome some of the issues faced by wet chemical fabrication and other deposition methods. There are many hybrid techniques, which arise from CVD and are constantly evolving in order to modify the properties of the fabricated thin films. Amongst them, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is a technique that can extend the applicability of the method for various precursors, reactive organic and inorganic materials as well as inert materials. Organic/inorganic monomers, which are used as precursors in the PECVD technique, undergo disintegration and radical polymerization while exposed to a high-energy plasma stream, followed by thin film deposition. In this chapter, we have provided a summary of the history, various characteristics as well as the main applications of PECVD. By demonstrating the advantages and disadvantages of PECVD, we have provided a comparison of this technique with other techniques. PECVD, like any other techniques, still suffers from some restrictions, such as selection of appropriate monomers, or suitable inlet instrument. However, the remarkable properties of this technique and variety of possible applications make it an area of interest for researchers, and offers potential for many future developments.
Part of the book: Chemical Vapor Deposition