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Title: Inductively Coupled BCl3/Cl2/Ar Plasma Etching of High Al Content AlGaN.


Abstract not provided.

; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the Electrochemical Society Meeting held October 11-16, 2015 in Phoenix, Az.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Douglas, Erica Ann, Allerman, Andrew A., Baca, Albert G., Sanchez, Carlos Anthony, and Kaplar, Robert. Inductively Coupled BCl3/Cl2/Ar Plasma Etching of High Al Content AlGaN.. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Douglas, Erica Ann, Allerman, Andrew A., Baca, Albert G., Sanchez, Carlos Anthony, & Kaplar, Robert. Inductively Coupled BCl3/Cl2/Ar Plasma Etching of High Al Content AlGaN.. United States.
Douglas, Erica Ann, Allerman, Andrew A., Baca, Albert G., Sanchez, Carlos Anthony, and Kaplar, Robert. 2015. "Inductively Coupled BCl3/Cl2/Ar Plasma Etching of High Al Content AlGaN.". United States. doi:.
title = {Inductively Coupled BCl3/Cl2/Ar Plasma Etching of High Al Content AlGaN.},
author = {Douglas, Erica Ann and Allerman, Andrew A. and Baca, Albert G. and Sanchez, Carlos Anthony and Kaplar, Robert},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month =

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  • Abstract not provided.
  • Low gas pressure, high plasma density etching tools are becoming predominate in industry for rapid, uniform small feature etching. In these reactors, surface reactions take on greater importance since the rate of volumetric collisions is smaller while the reactive fluxes to surfaces are larger. The authors have developed a Monte Carlo simulation to investigate surface reactions and the disposition of etching products in high plasma density reactors, and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) tools in particular. Time dependent electric fields and source functions for radicals and ions are obtained from a companion hybrid plasma equipment model. Monte Carlo techniques are thenmore » used to track the trajectories of radicals and ions, volumetric reactions and surface reactions. An etch model for poly-Si in chlorine chemistries based on the work of Dane and Mantei is implemented in which the local etch rate is proportional to the neutral radical fluxes and ion power flux. Predicted etching rates for poly-Si using chlorine chemistries are compared to experiments performed in ICP reactors. The effect of the etchant on the plasma chemistry, and hence on the etch rate, is discussed. A 3-dimensional visualization of fluxes of plasma species is presented.« less
  • The influence of cathode coverplate material on inductively coupled plasma etching of GaN and AlGaN with 1% and 10% of Al was investigated. It was revealed that coverplate material has a great impact on the etching of Al-containing layers. Results obtained with a graphite coverplate and a Si wafer on top of a quartz coverplate indicate that etch products of coverplate material such as SiCl{sub x}, CCl{sub x} reactive species and SiCl{sub x}{sup +}, CCl{sub x}{sup +} ions play a significant role in fast and smooth etching of Al-containing layers. They act as getters to remove oxygen in the processmore » chamber and as effective etchers for oxide layers formed by background oxygen in the process chamber. Experiments where SiCl{sub 4} gas was added to Cl{sub 2}/Ar plasma confirmed the role of SiCl{sub x} reactive species and SiCl{sub x}{sup +} ions for fast and smooth etching of AlGaN layers.« less
  • Inductively coupled plasma (ICP)–reactive ion etching (RIE) patterning is a standard processing step for UV and optical photonic devices based on III-nitride materials. There is little research on ICP-RIE of high Al-content AlGaN alloys and for nonpolar nitride orientations. The authors present a comprehensive study of the ICP-RIE of c- and a-plane AlGaN in Cl{sub 2}/Ar plasma over the entire Al composition range. The authors find that the etch rate decreases in general with increasing Al content, with different behavior for c- and a-plane AlGaN. They also study the effect of BCl{sub 3} deoxidizing plasma pretreatment. An ICP deoxidizing BCl{submore » 3} plasma with the addition of argon is more efficient in removal of surface oxides from Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1−x}N than RIE alone. These experiments show that Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1−x}N etching is affected by the higher binding energy of AlN and the higher affinity of oxygen to aluminum compared to gallium, with oxides on a-plane AlGaN more difficult to etch as compared to oxides on c-plane AlGaN, specifically for high Al composition materials. The authors achieve reasonably high etch rate (∼350 nm/min) for high Al-content materials with a smooth surface morphology at a low DC bias of ∼−45 VDC.« less
  • Varying atomic ratios in compound semiconductors is well known to have large effects on the etching properties of the material. The use of thin device barrier layers, down to 25 nm, adds to the fabrication complexity by requiring precise control over etch rates and surface morphology. The effects of bias power and gas ratio of BCl 3 to Cl 2 for inductively coupled plasma etching of high Al content AlGaN were contrasted with AlN in this study for etch rate, selectivity, and surface morphology. Etch rates were greatly affected by both bias power and gas chemistry. Here we detail themore » effects of small variations in Al composition for AlGaN and show substantial changes in etch rate with regards to bias power as compared to AlN.« less