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Dependence of Process Characteristics on Atomic-Step Density in Catalyst-Referred Etching of 4H–SiC(0001) Surface

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Catalyst-referred etching (CARE) is a novel abrasive-free planarization method. CARE-processed 4H–SiC(0001) surfaces are extremely flat and undamaged over the whole wafer. They consist of single-bilayer-height atomic steps and atomically flat terraces. This suggests that the etching properties depend principally on the atomic-step density of the substrate surface. We used on-axis and 8° off-axis substrates to investigate the processing characteristics that affect the atomic-step density of these substrates. We found a strong correlation between the removal rate and the atomic-step density of the two substrates. For the on-axis substrate, the removal rate increased with increasing surface roughness, which increases with an increasing atomic-step density. The removal rate ratio is approximately the same as the atomic-step density ratio of the two substrates.


Document Type: Research Article


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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