Dynamic deposition of silicon nitrides using in-line plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition systems results in non-uniform structure of the dielectric layer. Appropriate analysis of such layers requires the optical characterization to be performed as a function of the layer's depth. This work presents a method to characterize dynamically deposited silicon nitride layers. The method is based on the fitting of experimental spectroscopic ellipsometry data via grading of Tauc–Lorentz optical parameters through the depth of the layer. When compared with the standard Tauc–Lorentz fitting procedure, used in previous studies, the improved method is demonstrating better quality fits to the experimental data and revealing more accurate optical properties of the dielectric layers. The most significant advantage of the method is the ability to extract the depth profile of the optical properties along the direction of the layer normal. This is enabling a better understanding of layers deposited using dynamic plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition systems frequently used in the photovoltaic industry.

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