Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Gaseous Etching of 6h-sic at Relatively Low Temperatures

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Publication Date

Summer 2000


A comparison was made of on- and off-axis 6H–SiC substrate surfaces etched in H2, atomic hydrogen, C2H4/H2, and HCl/H2 at the relatively low-temperature range of 1400–1500°C. Well-defined terraces with three-bilayer height steps were obtained on the on-axis 6H–SiC substrates etched as low as 1450°C, with reproducibility dependent on the history or cleanliness of the reactor. The effects of adding HCl depended on its concentration and temperature; i.e. at low temperature and high HCl concentration, the surface had a hillock pattern, while well-defined steps formed at the reverse conditions. The etch rate with atomic hydrogen was high even at a low temperature (1200°C), and it produced a surface pattern with hillock depressions. The surface after etching depended on the original substrate surface condition; polishing damage caused by high applied load always resulted in a worse surface after etching. Off-axis substrates were smoother, while the original off-cut step pattern was not changed after etching in H2.





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