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Title: Photoelectrochemical etching of epitaxial InGaN thin films: Self-limited kinetics and nanostructuring

We report here the characteristics of photoelectrochemical (PEC) etching of epitaxial InGaN semiconductor thin films using narrowband lasers with linewidth less than ~1 nm. In the initial stages of PEC etching, when the thin film is flat, characteristic voltammogram shapes are observed. At low photo-excitation rates, voltammograms are S-shaped, indicating the onset of a voltage-independent rate-limiting process associated with electron-hole-pair creation and/or annihilation. At high photo-excitation rates, voltammograms are superlinear in shape, indicating, for the voltage ranges studied here, a voltage-dependent rate-limiting process associated with surface electrochemical oxidation. As PEC etching proceeds, the thin film becomes rough at the nanoscale, and ultimately evolves into an ensemble of nanoparticles. As a result, this change in InGaN film volume and morphology leads to a characteristic dependence of PEC etch rate on time: an incubation time, followed by a rise, then a peak, then a slow decay.
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4686; 537067
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Electrochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 162; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4686
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; III-nitrides; wet chemical process; selective etching; photoelectrochemical etching; voltammetry; quantum dots bandgap selection