Atomic Force Microscopy Study of III-V Materials Etched Using and Electron Cyclotron Resonance Source

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2350-2354
Journal / PublicationJournal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena
Volume13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

GaInAs, InP, and GaAs are etched in a Cl2/Ar plasma generated by an electron cyclotron resonance source. Analysis using scanning electron microscopy shows no difference in GaInAs surface morphology before or after etching in a Cl2/Ar plasma. However, a significant increase in the mean surface roughness of GaInAs from 0.2 to 1.9 nm after etching is detected by atomic force microscopy. The mean surface roughness of GaAs also increases from 0.2 to 1.0 nm after etching. X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to measure atomic concentrations on the etched surface. The results show that the increased roughness of etched GaInAs is related to residual etch products that consist of O and Cl. Using atomic force microscopy, the mean surface roughness was measured to be 1.8 nm at 0.5 mTorr and it increased to 2.7 nm at 5 mTorr. The degradation in GaInAs surface morphology with increasing pressure caused an increase in the specific contact resistivity. Etching related roughness can be minimized by using high radio‐frequency power, low pressure, and low Cl2% in Ar. Increasing the ion density by increasing the microwave power allows InP to be etched at 2.7 μm/min with a Cl2/Ar plasma at 30 °C. A smooth surface obtained at 500 W microwave power has a mean surface roughness of 1.7 nm and the InP stoichiometry remains nearly constant after etching. For a lower microwave power of 100 W, the mean surface roughness increases to 4.3 nm, and the surface is characterized by large islands. An H2O rinse immediately following the etch is able to remove residual etch products as indicated by a decrease in the surface roughness as well as the Cl and O concentrations on the surface.

Citation Format(s)

Atomic Force Microscopy Study of III-V Materials Etched Using and Electron Cyclotron Resonance Source. / Pang, S. W.; Thomas III, S.
In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena, Vol. 13, No. 6, 11.1995, p. 2350-2354 .

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review