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Surface Cleaning and Etching of 4H-SiC(0001) Using High-Density Atmospheric Pressure Hydrogen Plasma

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Abstract:

We propose low-damage and high-efficiency treatment of 4H-SiC(0001) surfaces using atmospheric pressure (AP) hydrogen plasma. Hydrogen radicals generated by the AP plasma was found to effectively remove damaged layers on SiC wafers and improve surface morphology by isotropic etching. Localized high-density AP plasma generated with a cylindrical rotary electrode provides a high etching rate of 1.6 m/min and yields smooth morphology by eliminating surface corrugation and scratches introduced by wafer slicing and lapping procedures. However, high-rate etching with localized plasma was found to cause an inhomogeneous etching profile depending on the plasma density and re-growth of the poly-Si layer at the downstream due to the decomposition of the vaporized SiHx products. On the other hand, for the purpose of achieving moderate etching and ideal cleaning of SiC surfaces, we demonstrated the application of a novel porous carbon electrode to form delocalized and uniform AP plasma over 4 inches in diameter. We obtained a reasonably moderate etching rate of 0.1 m/min and succeeded in fabricating damage-free SiC surfaces.

Keywords: ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE PLASMA; CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE; ETCHING; HYDROGEN RADICAL; SILICON CARBIDE; SURFACE CLEANING; SURFACE MORPHOLOGY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2011.3911

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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