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Pore Etching in Compound Semiconductors for the Production of Photonic Crystals

  • Helmut Foell (a1), Sergiu Langa (a1) (a2), Juergen Carstensen (a1), Marc Christophersen (a1), Ivan Tiginyanu (a2) and Karin Dichtel (a3)...

Abstract

Ordered arrays of pores in Si provided the first (two dimensional) photonic crystals with bandgaps in the μm region. The paper explores the potential of pore etching for two- and threedimensional photonic crystals in GaAs, InP, and GaP. A striking feature of pore etching in III-V semiconductors is the strong tendency to self-organization and pattern formation. As an example, self-organized well-defined pore lattices (a = 100 nm – 1 μm) can be made in InP. All materials show self organized diameter oscillations, often synchronized over large distances between pores. Extremely strong diameter oscillations are observed in GaAs. Pores in all materials tend to grow in <111> directions, but can be induced to grow in the direction of current flow, too. These features can be used to produce two- and three dimensional photonic crystals. The latter goal might be achieved by switching periodically between different pore morphologies with depth, or by modulating the diameter with depth - always helped by the tendency to self organization. Self organization, however, will not lead to perfect crystal structures; lithographically defined nucleation is needed and has been tried. First results show that there are pronounced differences to what is known from Si. While the production of externally defined photonic crystals in the sub μm region appears to be feasible, the strong tendency to self organization must be taken into account by matching internal time and length scales to the desired external ones.

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