The damage introduced by CH4/H2 reactive ion etching (RIE) and its recovery after thermal annealing has been investigated by Hall measurements and low temperature photoluminescence (PL) on pseudomorphic AlGaAs/InGaAs modulation doped structures. After plasma exposure, the PL intensity has significantly decreased and shifted in energy. In order to study the recovery of the damage introduced by the plasma, thermal annealing was done at temperatures between 350 and 500°C. We observed that the luminescence emission is totally recovered after annealing at 450°C. Hall measurements at room temperature (RT) and at 77K showed that the electrical characteristics of these structures can be restored only after thermal annealing at 500°C.
The optimised etching conditions have been applied in a fabrication process for submicron dry gate recessed pseudomorphic delta-doped AlGaAs/InGaAs modulation doped field effect transistors (MODFETs). For a 0.25 mm gatelength device the maximum DC transconductance value was as high as 680 mS/mm. The same value was extracted from measurements at 15 GHz.