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Improvement in Thickness Uniformity of Thick SOI by Numerically Controlled Local Wet Etching

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Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers are promising semiconductor materials for high-speed LSIs, low-power-consumption electric devices and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS). The thickness distribution of an SOI causes the variation of threshold voltage in electronic devices manufactured on the SOI wafer. The thickness distribution of a thin SOI, which is manufactured by applying a smart cut technique, is comparatively uniform. On the other hand, a thick SOI has a large thickness distribution because a bonded wafer is thinned by conventional grinding and polishing. For a thick SOI wafer with a thickness of 1 m, it is required that the tolerance of thickness variation is less than 50 nm. However, improving the thickness uniformity of a thick SOI layer to a tolerance of ±5% is difficult by conventional machining because of the fundamental limitations of these techniques. We have developed numerically controlled local wet etching (NC-LWE) technique as a novel deterministic subaperture figuring and finishing technique, which utilizes a localized chemical reaction between the etchant and the surface of the workpiece. We demonstrated an improvement in the thickness distribution of a thick SOI by NC-LWE using an HF/HNO3 mixture, and thickness variation improved from 480 nm to 200 nm within a diameter of 170 mm.
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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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