Etching AlAs with HF for epitaxial lift-off applications
SourceJournal of the Electrochemical Society, 151, 5, (2004), pp. G347-G352
Article / Letter to editor
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Applied Materials Science
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
SubjectApplied Materials Science
The epitaxial lift- off process allows the separation of a thin layer of III/ V material from the substrate by selective etching of an intermediate AlAs layer with HF. In a theory proposed for this process, it was assumed that for every mole of AlAs dissolved three moles of H-2 gas are formed. In order to verify this assumption the reaction mechanism and stoichiometry were investigated in the present work. The solid, solution and gaseous reaction products of the etch process have been examined by a number of techniques. It was found that aluminum fluoride is formed, both in the solid form as well as in solution. Furthermore, instead of H-2 arsine (AsH3) is formed in the etch process. Some oxygen- related arsenic compounds like AsO, AsOH, and AsO2 have also been detected with gas chromatography/ mass spectroscopy. The presence of oxygen in the etching environment accelerates the etching process, while a total absence of oxygen resulted in the process coming to a premature halt. It is argued that, in the absence of oxygen, the etching surface is stabilized, possibly by the sparingly soluble AlF3 or by solid arsenic. (C) 2004 The Electrochemical Society.
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