A method of filling a gap formed between adjacent raised surfaces on a substrate. In one embodiment the method comprises depositing a boron-doped silica glass (BSG) layer over the substrate to partially fill the gap using a thermal CVD process; exposing the BSG layer to a steam ambient at a temperature above the BSG layer's Eutectic temperature; removing an upper portion of the BSG layer by exposing the layer to a fluorine-containing etchant; and depositing an undoped silica glass (USG) layer over the BSG layer to fill the remainder of the gap.

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