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Plasma Chemistries for Dry Etching GaN, AIN, InGaN and InAIN

  • S. J. Pearton (a1), C. B. Vartuli (a1), J. W. Lee (a1), S. M. Donovan (a1), J. D. MacKenzie (a1), C. R. Abernathy (a1), R. J. Shul (a2), G. F. McLane (a3) and F. Ren (a4)...


Etch rates up to 7,000Å/min. for GaN are obtained in Cl2/H2/Ar or BCl3/Ar ECR discharges at 1–3mTorr and moderate dc biases. Typical rates with HI/H2 are about a factor of three lower under the same conditions, while CH4/H2 produces maximum rates of only ˜2000Å/min. The role of additives such as SF6, N2, H2 or Ar to the basic chlorine, bromine, iodine or methane-hydrogen plasma chemistries are discussed. Their effect can be either chemical ( in forming volatile products with N) or physical ( in breaking bonds or enhancing desorption of the etch products). The nitrides differ from conventional III-V's in that bondbreaking to allow formation of the etch products is a critical factor. Threshold ion energies for the onset of etching of GaN, InGaN and InAlN are ≥75eV.



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