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Influence of Gold Particles on Gallium Arsenide Substrate When Etched in Chlorine Plasma

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Title:
Influence of Gold Particles on Gallium Arsenide Substrate When Etched in Chlorine Plasma
Creator:
LENT, ERIKA COURTNEY ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Arsenic ( jstor )
Arsenides ( jstor )
Electrons ( jstor )
Etching ( jstor )
Gallium ( jstor )
Plasma spectra ( jstor )
Plasmas ( jstor )
Stellar spectra ( jstor )
Stellar spectral lines ( jstor )
Visible spectrum ( jstor )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Erika Courtney Lent. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
5/1/2005
Resource Identifier:
436098652 ( OCLC )

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Full Text











INFLUENCE OF GOLD PARTICLES ON GALLIUM ARSENIDE SUBSTRATE
WHEN ETCHED IN CHLORINE PLASMA














By

ERIKA COURTNEY LENT


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005































Copyright 2004

By

Erika Courtney Lent















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank and acknowledge my advisor, Dr. Claudia Milz, and Dr.

Mark Davidson for their guidance and support with this research.

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude towards my family and

friends for their endless support and encouragement. I could not have done it without

them. They gave me the courage to keep going when things looked dark and the

inspiration to surpass my own expectations to achieve all that I have.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
A C K N O W L E D G E M EN T S ..................................................................... .....................iii

LIST OF TABLES................... ............... ........ ........................ ... vi

LIST OF FIGURES .................................................... ..... ...... vii

A B S T R A C T ................................ ....................................................x ii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION .................. .................................... .............. ...

2 EXPERIM EN TA TION .............................................................. .............. 14

2 .1 Sam ple P reparation ...................................................................... ... ..... 14
2.2 A analysis Techniques........................................... ........................... 20

3 RE SULTS .................... ..... ...................... 22

3.1 A tom ic Force M icroscopy..................................... ......... ............... 22
3.1.1 Sam ple 1............................................... ............... 22
3 .1 .2 S a m p le 2 ................................................................................... 2 3
3.1.3 Sam ple 3............................................... ............... 23
3 .1 .4 S a m p le 6 ................................................................................... 2 5
3 .1.5 S am ple 5 ................................ .......................2 6
3.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive
Spectroscopy ............................... ...............28
3 .2 .1 Sam ple 1..................................................... ............... 2 8
3 .2 .2 S a m p le 2 ................................................................................... 3 3
3 .2 .3 S a m p le 3 ................................................................................... 3 6
3 .2 .4 S a m p le 6 ................................................................................... 4 0
3 .2 .5 S a m p le 5 ................................................................................... 4 3

4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS........................ ............. 52

4.1 Atomic Force M icroscopy........................... .. ...................52
4.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive
Spectroscopy ............................... ...............54










5 S U M M A R Y ............................................................................... .. ............ .. 5 8

APPENDIX

A ADD ITION AL AFM RESULTS.................................................. ....................60

B ADDITIONAL SEM/EDS RESULTS....................... ...... ..............62

REFER EN CE LIST....................... .......................... .. .... ......... ........75

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............... ............... ............................ 77













































v















LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

1 General trends of etch conditions when a parameter is increased...................9

2 Etch recipes for each sample ............. ............................................. 19

3 Average height and standard deviation for Samples 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6...............28















LIST OF FIGURES


Figures Page

1 The two basic methods of pattern transfer ............... .............2

2 Anisotropic etching ............ ........ .......... ..... ................. ......... 3

3 A sim ple plasm a reactor............................. ... ............ ......... .5

4 The plasma sheath ............. ... ................... ............... ........... .5

5 A schematic of the plasma reactor.................................... ............8

6 Sputtering versus chem ical etching .................................. ...............10

7 Non-directional versus directional etching................... ................... 11

8 Etch profiles due to increased chlorine flow ......... .................................11

9 Increased Ar flow increases etch depth and anisotropy of GaAs........................12

10 Increased pressure decreases etch rate ............................. ... ........... .. 13

11 Electron-beam Lithography apparatus ..... ......................................... 15

12 The develop ent of the pattern ............ ...................... ....................16

13 M etal evaporator...................................... ............. ........... 18

14 Optical microscope image of the gold star array on GaAs...........................18

15 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 1 unetched .............. ..............22

16 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma......24

17 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma......25

18 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 6 unetched...................... ...........26

19 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma......27









20 Secondary electron image of sample 1 unetched...................................... 28

21 Backscatter electron image of sample 1 unetched..................................29

22 Secondary electron image with map of EDS points............................................29

23 EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of a star on sample 1 unetched ............30

24 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched.....................31

25 EDS spectrum for point 5 on the particle on the tip of the star..........................31

26 EDS spectrum for point 6 on a dark dot on the substrate of sample 1...............32

27 EDS gold line scan spectrum on sample 1 unetched................ ..............32

28 Secondary electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma............33

29 Backscatter electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma..........34

30 Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points.......... ...............34

31 EDS spectrum for point 1 on the center of the star of sample 2 etched ..............35

32 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 2 etched........................35

33 EDS line scan spectrum for gold for sample 2 etched...............................36

34 Secondary electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma............37

35 Backscatter electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma..........37

36 Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points.......... .............. 38

37 EDS spectrum for point 1 on the star of sample 3 etched...........................38

38 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 3 etched........................39

39 EDS spectrum for point 5 on the dark area on the tip of the star...........................39

40 EDS line scan spectrum for gold on sample 3 etched.............. ................40

41 Secondary electron image of sample 6 unetched........................................41

42 Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched.....................................42









43 Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched with map of EDS points.........42

44 EDS spectrum for point 1 on sample 6 unetched........................................43

45 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched.......................43

46 Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................44

47 Backscatter electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................4 5

48 Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5, etched, with map
of E D S points ................................................. ................. 45

49 EDS spectrum for point 1 on star A on sample 5 etched....................................46

50 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star A on sample 5.....................46

51 EDS spectrum for point 5, a particle on star A of sample 5...............................47

52 EDS spectrum for point 6, a brighter area on the tip of star A on sample 5..........47

53 Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................4 8

54 Backscatter electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................4 8

55 Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched, with map
of E D S points ................................................. ................. 49

56 EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of star B on sample 5 etched...................49

57 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star B on sample 5 etched..........50

58 ED S spectrum for point 7, star B ....................................... ........................ 50

59 EDS spectrum for point 8 on a particle on star B, sample 5, etched...................51

60 This is a plot of the etched samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed .................53

61 This is a plot of the etched sample 5 line scan superimposed..............................54

62 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.......60









63 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.......61

64 EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 1 unetched.......................... 62

65 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched.......................63

66 EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 2 etched..................................63

67 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 2 etched...........................64

68 EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 3 etched......................................64

69 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 3 etched...........................65

70 EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 6 unetched............................. 65

71 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched.......................66

72 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................66

73 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
p la sm a ......... ................... ......... ......... ........................................6 7

74 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star B of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................67

75 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
p la sm a ......... ................... ......... ......... ........................................6 8

76 Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
p la sm a ......... ................... ......... ......... ........................................6 8

77 Backscatter electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................69

78 Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5, etched, with map
of E D S points ................................................. ................. 69

79 EDS spectrum of point 1 on star C of sample 5 etched.. .................... ......70

80 EDS spectrum of point 2 on star C of sample 5 etched....................................70

81 EDS spectrum of point 3 on the substrate near star C of sample 5.....................71

82 EDS spectrum of point 4 on the substrate of sample 5............... ..... .......... 71










83 Secondary electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................72

84 Backscatter electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasm a ......... .... .............. .................................... ...........................72

85 Secondary electron image of star D with a map of EDS points ..........................73

86 EDS spectrum for point 1 on star D of sample 5 etched.......................................73

87 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star D of sample 5 etched.......................................74















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

INFLUENCE OF GOLD PARTICLES ON GALLIUM ARSENIDE SUBSTRATE
WHEN ETCHED IN CHLORINE PLASMA

By

Erika Courtney Lent

May 2005

Chair: Claudia Milz
Major Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Gallium arsenide is a valuable semiconductor material used in many applications

including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics, and integrated circuits. The desire to

continuously improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative

applications necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. One key step in the

processing technique is the development of the features through plasma etching. As the

feature sizes become smaller, precision in the formation of the features becomes more

critical. Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch gallium

arsenide wafers during device manufacturing primarily because of the volatility of the

chlorides that are formed by the reaction. There has been some thought that gold may be

used as a catalyst to enhance the etching process.

A sample was prepared with gold stars on a gallium arsenide substrate and then

etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Electron beam lithography was used to create the









template for the star array. Gold was then deposited onto the sample with a metal

evaporator filling the voids created during electron beam lithography to form the gold

stars. The samples were then analyzed for any changes in surface characteristics after

being etched using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy

dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive

results show that the gold stars remained intact on the substrate surface. There was no

significant change in surface conditions between etched and unetched samples, indicating

that the presence of gold did not enhance the etching of the gallium arsenide. Analysis

with atomic force microscopy gave results that led to the same conclusion. The atomic

force microscopy results did show that the surface was etched. Unetched samples had a

relatively smooth surface while the etched samples exhibited a rough surface

characteristic of etching. Through this research using these methods it was shown that

gold does not influence the etching of gallium arsenide in chlorine plasma.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background

This research aims to describe and understand the corrosion mechanisms of a

gallium arsenide substrate decorated with gold particles when etched in plasma with the

intent of creating nanostructures. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) is a valuable semiconductor

material used in many applications including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics,

and integrated circuits. It is desirable for its superior electronic properties over Silicon,

another material often used in the semiconductor industry. GaAs has a high electron

mobility that allows for operation at high frequencies (>250GHz) with minimal noise [1,

2]. Another advantage of GaAs is that it has the ability to emit light due to its direct band

gap. One major disadvantage of GaAs compared to silicon is cost; silicon is very

inexpensive because it is the second most abundant element on Earth and has fewer

processing limitations than GaAs [1, 2]. May and Sze point out that since the beginning

of the microelectronics era, the minimum feature length of an integrated circuit has been

reduced at a rate of about 13% per year. By the year 2010 the minimum feature length is

estimated to be 50nm. Along with the shrinking sizes of devices come the advantages of

reduced unit cost per circuit function, increased device speed, expanded functional

throughput rates, and decreased power consumption [1, 3]. The consumer demand for

such devices could drive the growth of the gallium industry even faster than the

forecasted 290 metric tons by the year 2008 [4]. Thus, the desire to continuously








improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative applications

necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. A key step in the processing

technique is the development of the features. As the feature sizes become smaller,

precision in the formation of the features becomes critical; any deviation could result in a

failed device. Before the features are formed it is necessary to create a template on the

material through either an additive or subtractive process to define where the features are

to be located as shown in Figure 1. In the subtractive process, the feature material is

deposited directly onto the substrate. To pattern this film, a mask is formed next, usually

by photolithography [3]. The mask material, or resist, is a light-sensitive polymer that is

spun onto the wafer and dried. It is exposed to light through a mask containing the

desired pattern. The exposed areas of resist can then be removed. In the additive

process, the mask is created first and is then followed by deposition of the feature

material. Unexposed areas of resist are removed with a developer [3].

Subtractive Process Additive Process


Fh,)t,)1irihogijaph' M



Etch Deposit



Remove Resist


Figure 1. The two basic methods of pattern transfer are: subtractive, where the material
is removed from areas not protected by the mask; and additive, where the material is
deposited over the mask pattern and the mask with the undesired material deposits is later
removed [3, 5].









Now that a template has been established, the next step is etching. There are two

main methods used in industry to create the features, wet etching or dry etching. Wet

etching occurs when a material is dissolved when submersed in a chemical solution. A

disadvantage of wet etching is the isotropic nature which increases the difficulty to

control critical feature dimensions [3, 5]. Isotropic etching is when a material etches at

the same rate in all directions; undercutting is often a problem as shown in Figure 2.

Anisotropic etching, when a material etches at different rates in different directions can

also be a problem. Certain crystallographic planes of some materials etch at different

rates. However, if those planes are not vertical to the surface being etched, the hole being

created will not have perfectly vertical sidewalls (Figure 2).



Slow etching crystal plane
/ Etch mask






Anisotropic Isotropic


Figure 2. Anisotropic etching, different etch rates in different directions, with off-vertical
sidewalls. Isotropic etching, same etch rate in all directions, with undercutting of the
mask. [5] These are extreme examples of each case; it is possible to have a combination
of anisotropic and isotropic etching characteristics.

Dry etching occurs when a material is sputtered off or dissolved using reactive ions or

a vapor phase etchant. An advantage of dry etching is the ability to better control feature

dimensions; there is greater resolution of the features. However, the cost of dry etching

is significantly greater than for wet etching. Wet chemical etching is used extensively in









semiconductor processing [1]. However, it is best suitable for whole surface etching and

not for patterning as a major disadvantage is the undercutting of the material below the

mask, resulting in a loss of resolution of the final features [1]. Thus, regardless of the

increased costs, industry has adopted the dry etch method to achieve the small features

needed to keep up with the demands for smaller and smaller devices [1, 3, 5].

Plasma etching is a dry etching method and is of particular interest because of its

efficiency in producing micron-sized features of specific dimensions and extensive use in

the semiconductor industry. In general, a plasma can be described as an ionized gas that

is charge neutral. This means that there are equal numbers of free positive and negative

charges [1, 3]. The charges are generated when a voltage is applied between two

electrodes inducing a current flow to form the plasma as shown in Figure 3. The positive

charge is mostly in the form of singly ionized neutrals, including atoms, radicals, or

molecules, that have been stripped of one electron [3]. The negative charges are usually

free electrons [3]. As the diffusion of charge to the walls and recombination on the

sample surface occurs, there is a depletion of charge in the adjacent gas. Because the

electrons are light and have high energy, they diffuse the fastest, leaving a thin boundary

layer of positive charge referred to as the sheath [3]. Positive ions are accelerated

towards the surface of the substrate which has accumulated a negative charge from the

electrons that have diffused to the substrate and strike at near-normal incidence. This

causes directional etching and results in features with vertical sidewalls. Figure 4

illustrates the sheath and near-normal incidence of the ion striking to produce vertical

sidewalls.












Gas Feed In


RF Source


Pump Out


Figure 3. A simple plasma reactor consisting of opposed parallel plate electrodes in a
vacuum chamber. There is a continuous gas feed in and a port for pumping out. A
radio frequency power source is coupled to the electrodes to generate a plasma. [3]






Plasma
+ + + + + +


- - - -


Sheath


Substrate


Electrode

Figure 4. The plasma sheath. The diffusion of electrons from the gas adjacent to the
sample to the walls or surfaces creates a positive layer called the sheath. The
accumulated negative charge on the substrate attracts the positive charges of the
sheath which accelerate towards and strike the the substrate a near-normal incidence.
This produces vertical sidewalls.









The reactive neutral and charged species generated from the plasma react with the

substrate to form volatile species. For example, in Cl2 chemistry, Cl and Cl2 neutrals and

charged Cl radicals form AsClx volatiles with a GaAs substrate. Chemical etching

occurs when the volatile species evaporate, reducing the substrate thickness usually

isotropically. In addition, the electrostatic fields created by the particles of the plasma

may accelerate charged species so that substrate material is removed due to the ion

bombardment, mechanical etching which tends to be anisotropic. Non-volatile, or less

volatile, etch products (GaClx) may also be removed through ion bombardment. It is the

relationship between the physical sputtering and the chemical reaction mechanisms that

greatly influence the dimensions of the features, both of which can be influenced by etch

parameters that will be discussed later in this paper. Selectivity, the ratio of etch rates

between different materials when exposed to the same environment [6], also is an

important factor in feature dimensions. Chemical etching is more selective than

mechanical etching and is inherently sensitive to differences in bonds and the consistency

of the substrate [3]. The degree of selective etching of one material relative to others can

most easily be manipulated through changes in plasma chemistry [6]. Materials may also

exhibit selectivity of one crystallographic plane over another as in GaAs. For GaAs in

Cl2 plasma, the relative etch rates of the crystal planes are As-rich

[111]>[100]>[110]>Ga-rich [111] [3].

Gold Plasma Etching

Gold has been determined to be relatively inert during plasma etching and

therefore has been used as a mask material when creating nanostructures, IC circuits, and

other microelectronic devices [7,8,9]. If gold is etched, it tends to be physically sputtered









off through ion-bombardment with an inert gas such as Argon. Efremov, Kim, and Kim

have shown that physical etching of gold is more effective than chemical etching with an

etch rate in pure Argon more than double that of the etch rate in pure chlorine [10]. They

have also shown that there is an accumulation of the reaction products, AuClx, with the

increase of chlorine content. The accumulation is due to the low volatility of AuClx. To

encourage the gold chlorides to leave the sample surface, an inert gas is often introduced

to the system which provides a physical motivation.

There has been some thought that gold may be used as a catalyst to enhance the

etching process. Though there is not much known about the details of this process, it is

believed that when small clusters or particles of gold, approximately 3-5nm in size, are

deposited onto the surface of a substrate the etch rate is enhanced [8, 9]. Some of the

reactions catalyzed by gold include the oxidation of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons,

hydrogenation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and the removal of carbon

monoxide from hydrogen streams [8, 9]. Thompson reports that the use of gold for

heterogeneous catalysis, in which the catalyst and reactants are in different phases, could

have considerable industrial significance. Hence, this is the reason for using gold as a

potential catalyst for the system in this research.

Plasma Etching

A Plasmatherm 770 Electron Cyclotron Resonance/Reactive Ion Etching reactor was

used to etch the substrate. A diagram of the apparatus is shown in Figure 5. In an

electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) reactor, microwave power and a static magnetic field

work together to force the electrons to circulate around the magnetic field lines with an

angular frequency. When the frequency of the circulating electrons matches that of the









applied microwave frequency, a high degree of dissociation and ionization (10-2 for ECR

compared with 10-6 for RIE) results due to the coupling between the electron energy and

the applied electric field [9]. The ECR creates high density plasma in which the

concentration of charged particles is approximately 1011cm3 [1,3,11]. A high density

plasma can potentially produce higher etch rates because of the increased concentration

of charged particles and typically exhibits less damage than that produced from a reactive

ion etching reactor [1, 11].



m row es


magnetic
cil M







Slock chamber
1 I RFI|
valve


Figure 5. A schematic of the plasma reactor is pictured. Note the circulation of electrons
in the plasma induced by the magnetic coil in the upper region of the etch chamber.

The reactive ion etching (RIE) part of the reactor consists of a radio frequency

applied to the sample platform acts as a grounded electrode with an area the size of the

reactor chamber. As electrons attach to the sample surface a negative self-bias occurs

which attracts the energetic ions of the plasma to the surface. There is a load lock

chamber where the sample is inserted before being transferred into the etch chamber by









an automatic arm. An applied radio frequency (RF) substrate power influences the ion

speed; a higher RF power increases the ion speed and the amount of sputtering,

mechanical etching, which occurs. The microwave power influences the plasma density;

an increase in microwave power results in a more dense plasma with more ionized

particles that will enhance chemical etching. Table 1 summarizes these parameters.

Table 1. General trends of etch conditions when a parameter is increased


Pa s Sputter Chemical R Vertical
Parameters Etch Rate
Etching Etching Sidewalls
Pressure 1 1
Temperature 1
Cl2 Flow 1 1
Ar Flow 1 T T
Microwave
Power
RF Power T 1 1


Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch GaAs wafers during

device manufacturing [12]. This is primarily because of the volatility of the chlorides

that are formed by the reaction. Group III chlorides, GaCl2 and InCl2, are suitably

volatile at practical processing temperatures where as Group III fluorides, GaF3 and InF3,

are not, making Cl2 chemistry the preferred choice [3]. It is for these reasons that

chlorine has been selected as the etchant of choice for this research.

Etch Mechanisms

From previous research, it is understood that the chemical etching mechanism

leads to a more isotropic etch characteristic, and undercutting, while physical sputtering

leads to a more anisotropic etch (Figure 6). The chemical etch of a material depends on

the reaction between the reactive neutral species (i.e., Cl, Cl2) with the sample.








Mechanical etching or ion-assisted etching (bombarding ions remove non-volatile etch

products) is driven by the acceleration of the charged species in the plasma towards the

oppositely charged sample due to the applied RF power as illustrated in Figure 7. Thus

chemical etching is more probable to occur than direct ion bombardment on the feature

sidewalls. For example, an increased flow rate of Cl2 increased the concentration of Cl

that are able to form volatile species with the GaAs substrate resulting in sidewalls that

are more rounded [13] (Figure 8a). It is also expected that as the concentration of Cl is

increased, a layer of increasing thickness of GaCl3 forms, limiting the etch rate [3, 14].

The GaCl3 forms at the surface of the GaAs. Its low volatility prevents it from desorbing

off of the GaAs substrate unless it is energetically removed by ion bombardment. The

etch depth and sharpness of the feature dimensions decreased with increasing Cl2 flow

rate (Figure 8b). Similar results are expected for increasing Cl2 flow rates from our

experimentation. Future TEM analysis would show the crystallographic selectivity of

GaAs planes with the As rich planes having a higher etch rate than the Ga rich planes due

to the formation of more volatile As chloride species. Werbaneth et al, reported that an

increased Cl2 flow decreased the etch profile, more tapered sidewalls, and increased the

Au etch rate. At a high enough Cl2 flow, it is expected that some reduction in the gold

layer will occur.


flfl (- Mask 7

-Substrate

Figure 6. a) Anisotropy due to b) Isotropy due to chemical
physical sputtering etch mechanism
etch mechanism

Figure 6. Sputtering versus chemical etching.











C2 volatile

(AsCl





sample (GaAs)

a) Reactive neutral species
combine with sample surface to
form a volatile species that
leaves the substrate; non-
directional etching.


Ar or Cl
non-volatile
I / (GaClx)





sample (GaAs)

b) Charged ions accelerated
toward substrate at near-normal
incidence. Removal of substrate
material or non-volatile etch
product may occur. Etching is
directional.


Figure 7. Non-directional versus directional etching.


a) Rounded sidewalls due to
increased chlorine flow. The
concentration of chlorine reactants is
increased. This increases the amount
of chemical etching which tends to be
isotropic.


S GaC13
GaAs
b) The accumulation of GaC13, a less
volatile species, at the bottom and
sides of the feature often result in a
loss of etch depth and feature
definition. With increased chlorine
flow and the increase in chlorine
reactant concentration, more GaC13 is
formed.


Figure 8. Etch profiles due to increased chlorine flow.

Adding Ar into the plasma chemistry enhanced anisotropic etching. It created ion

bombardment by a non-reactive species that encouraged the volatilization of etchants

such as the often rate limiting GaC13 species. Because of this, it is expected that as the Ar

flow rate increases, the amount of ion bombardment increases, reducing the GaC13 layer









thickness by encouraging volatilization and increasing the etch depth (Figure 9). Since

ion bombardment occurs predominantly at the bottom of a feature, the overall etch rate in

that direction becomes more rapid than the rate in all other directions resulting in

anisotropic etching [11]. The Au etch rate also increased as the Ar flow increased and

the sidewalls became more tapered [7, 8].










a) Low Ar flow b) Intermediate Ar flow c) High Ar flow


Figure 9. Increased Ar flow increases etch depth and anisotropy of GaAs.

For optimal etching, where the conditions are the most favorable for etching to

occur, it is desirable to maximize the amount of species present at the substrate surface.

This increases the likelihood of and the opportunity for the species to react with the

surface to form a volatile product resulting in the etching of that surface. At pressures

higher than 2 mTorr, the reactive species are more likely to collide and recombine before

reaching the substrate surface resulting in a decreased etch rate and shallow etch depth.

The shallow etch depth may also be attributed to the reduced sputtering due to energy

losses suffered from the particle collisions. It seems likely that the resulting features will

have low angle sidewalls. At pressures lower than 2 mTorr, there is sufficient species

present at the substrate surface for etching. The etch profile at 2 mTorr is expected to

have close to vertical sidewalls and greater etch depths than other pressures (Figure 10).

However, at pressures below 1 mTorr, insufficient amounts of Cl2 limit etching [3]. The






13


resulting etch profile is expected to be similar to that of pressures greater than 2 mTorr

due to the lack of reactive species present to cause etching.









Samples 1. < 2mTorr


Figure 10. Increased pressure decreases etch rate.















CHAPTER 2
EXPERIMENTATION


2.1 Sample Preparation

Using a Spincoater Model P6700 Series by Specialty Coating Systems, Inc., a 2"

GaAs(001) wafer is spin-coated with 950 molecular weight polymethyl methacrylate

(PMMA) to form a film approximately 400nm thick. The wafer is placed into the

spincoater and is held in place by vacuum force from below on the sample holder. The

sample holder then begins to spin the wafer. The wafer is cleaned before being coated

with PMMA, first with acetone and then with methanol to prevent contamination from

particulates and impurities in the acetone. Once dry, the spinning is stopped to deposit

the PMMA onto the wafer. A pipette is used to draw the PMMA from the center of an

unshaken bottle to avoid any particles that may have settled. The PMMA is deposited

onto the center of the wafer until it covers as much of the wafer as possible without

dripping over the edge also being careful to avoid air bubbles. Spinning is resumed and

continues until the PMMA is evenly distributed over the wafer. When spinning is

complete, the wafer is baked on a hot plate at 1600C for 15 minutes to drive out any

residual solvent. The wafer is then cleaved into quarters for ease of handling and

processing.










Electron Beam Lithography

Electron Gun

Beam Blanking

DI election Coils

Computer Control [ Vacuum Chamber
(controls X-Y data
to pattern the mask) /
/Mask
/\ / e- \o
Wafer

/Table

Table Position Mechanical
Monitor Drive



Figure 11. Electron-beam Lithography apparatus. The Computer Control instructs the
patterning of the mask by both adjusting the beam blanking and table positioning to
achieve the desired pattern as set by the operator with the CAD program [15].

Electron-beam lithography is used next to create an ordered pattern in the PMMA

resist. Design CAD is the program that is used to create a pattern and then instructs the

electron-beam apparatus of the FEI XL-40 field emission microscope how to create that

pattern. An apparatus is shown in Figure 11. The computer controls the areas of the

photoresist that are exposed to the electron beam through manipulation of beam blankers

and the sample table to achieve the specified pattern. The pattern created was based on a

single fractal star with an intricate perimeter and several points of strain to maximize the

possible effects of the gold particles on GaAs. An array of 20 stars by 20 stars was

repeated 100 times, 10 times in the x-direction and 10 times in the y-direction, onto the









wafer. The distance between stars is 100nm in this array. The pattern is shown on a

smaller scale in Figure 12.


















Sample

a) b) c)

Figure 12. The development of the pattern is shown in smaller scale. a) This is the
original star chosen from a menu in the Design CAD program. b) The program is
commanded to create an array of these stars, 20 stars in the x-direction and 20 stars in the
y-direction; shown is 2 stars in the x-direction and 2 stars in the y-direction. c) The
program is commanded to repeat this array to create the final pattern, 10 arrays in the x-
direction and 10 arrays in the y-direction; shown is 2 arrays in the x-direction and 2
arrays in the y-direction. Drawing not to scale of actual pattern.

This takes approximately two hours to complete. The areas exposed to the electron beam

must now be removed. The PMMA in the areas that are exposed to the electron beam

breaks down and can be easily removed once developed. The areas not exposed to

electron beam during patterning are not removed in the developing process. To remove

the exposed areas, the wafer is submerged in a 1 to 3 ratio of MIBK to isopropyl alcohol

developing solution for 70 seconds. Upon removal from the developing solution, the

wafer is rinsed in deionized water and dried by helium gas to prevent contamination from

particulates in the developing solution or deionized water. What is left is a layer of resist









with an array of holes, exposing the GaAs in the shape of fractal stars. Field emission

microscope images showed that the lithography was successful in creating an array of

fractal stars in the resist. It is important to be aware of the potential for overexposure or

underexposure with electron-beam lithography as both situations influence the final

pattern. If overexposed, the features become less defined around the edges.

Underexposure results in incomplete features or possibly no features at all because the

resist cannot be removed when developed. In both cases the dosage can be adjusted to

alleviate the problem; decreased if overexposed, increased if underexposed. The typical

appropriate dose for these patterns was around 190,000 tC/cm2.

Gold is then deposited onto the wafer filling in the areas where the resist was

removed to form gold stars. This was done using a metal evaporator to achieve a uniform

layer thickness (Figure 13). The gold is heated by a current until it begins to evaporate

and deposit onto the wafer held above. A layer thickness of 100A was deposited at a rate

of lA/s at 8x 10-6Torr. To remove the remaining resist, the wafer is soaked patterned side

up, in an acetone bath for 30 minutes or until the PMMA resist has lifted off. It is then

rinsed with isopropanol to prevent contamination from particulates in the acetone. Left

behind is an array of gold fractal stars approximately 100A thick with 100tm between

each star on the GaAs wafer substrate. The array of gold stars on GaAs was observed

with an optical microscope (Figure 14).

During gold deposition, there is the potential for sample contamination. The

contamination most likely comes from the other materials that have been evaporated in

the chamber, deposited on the chamberwalls, and either flaked or re-evaporated off the

walls onto the sample. To reduce this type of contamination, it may be desirable to do a









blank run in which nothing or something that will be non-reactive with the sample is

heated in the chamber. Another way to reduce contamination would be to run the

evaporator at the lowest pressure feasible within time constraints and instrument

capability.


Vacuum
Chamber

Electron Beam-.
Source


Metal Source -


Wafer (camped
onto holder)

Shutter


Figure 13. Metal evaporator with electron beam heating source. The wafer is clamped
onto the wafer holder. A shutter blocks the wafer from the metal source until ready for
metal deposition. The electron beam heats the metal source such that the metal begins to
evaporate. The shutter is then opened allowing the evaporated metal to redeposit onto the
wafer.


Figure 14. Optical microscope image of the gold star array on GaAs wafer. Each star is
approximately 10 microns tip to tip with 100 microns between each star.










Lastly, the sample is etched in the Plasmatherm model 770 Electron cyclotron

resonance (ECR) reactive ion etcher (RIE). Initially the reactor conditions are set

according to a known GaAs etch recipe for the Plasmatherm 770 using Cl2 gas and Ar gas

as follows:

Chamber Pressure: 2 mTorr
Heat Exchanger Temperature: 20C
Cl2 Flow: 10 sccm
Ar Flow: 20 sccm
Microwave Power: 900 Watts
RF Substrate Power: 30 Watts
Etch Rate: -3000A/min

It was found that the above recipe was too harsh for the samples used, removing the gold

entirely from the substrate surface. Since the interface between the GaAs substrate and

gold is of critical interest, the recipe had to be adjusted. Conditions were then set to

encourage plasma etching while minimizing the potential for excessive damage to the

sample as had occurred with the initial recipe. Several new recipes were tested to ensure

that the sample was being etched. Those recipes are listed below for each sample in

Table 2.

Table 2. Etch recipes for each sample

Sample # 2 3 5 Original
Parameters j Recipe
Pressure (mTorr) 10 5 5 2
Temperature (C) 25 25 25 25
Cl2 Flow (sccm) 10 10 10 10
Ar Flow (sccm) 5 5 5 20
Microwave Power (W) 100 100 100 900
RF Power (W) 20 20 20 30
Time (seconds) 90 60 90 90
Note: Samples 1 and 6 were not etched.









The new parameters were selected based on the trends shown previously in Table 1 to

create an environment that would etch the sample but not so much as to eliminate the

surface features. Increasing the pressure and decreasing both the microwave and RF

power sources decrease the energy and speed of reactants to reduce the amount of

physical sputtering. The Argon flow was also decreased to a rate below that of the

chlorine which was held constant. Argon is an inert gas introduced into the system to

increase the amount of sputtering for more anisotropic etching. It is also introduced into

the system to assist in etching by encouraging less volatile species to leave the sample

surface. The original etch recipe, when compared to the new recipes, appears to be more

focused on anisotropic etching and vertical sidewalls for high feature resolution as would

be expected from a recipe used in industry. All of the new recipes etch the samples

without etching away the gold stars, as shown in AFM analysis, and are more suitable for

the purpose of this research.

2.2 Analysis Techniques

Several techniques were applied for the analysis of the prepared samples

including scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and atomic

force microscopy. The techniques selected are useful for imaging the samples,

examining the topography, and element detection. Scanning electron microscopy was

done using a JEOL JSM-6335F. Secondary electron images were taken to show the

topography of the sample especially the gold stars. Backscatter electron images are

desired to show the composition of the sample. Though this imaging does not specify

which elements are present, it does show the distribution of elements of the sample

through differences in brightness. Higher atomic number elements appear brighter than









lower atomic number elements. Because gold has a higher atomic number than gallium

and arsenide, the gold stars should appear brighter than the rest of the sample. Energy

dispersive spectroscopy is also done using the JEOL JSM-6335F. This technique is

useful for identifying the elements that are present. The data is displayed as a spectrum

with peaks at energies characteristic for the element detected. For example, if gold is

detected in a sample, a peak at 2.2keV will be observed in the spectrum.

Atomic force microscopy was done using a Digital Instruments Nanoscope III

SPM to obtain information about the surface of the sample. It is useful for surface

imaging and profiling. A tip mounted on a cantilever is applied to the sample. By

detecting the bending of the cantilever, the atomic force microscope is able to image the

topography of a sample. For example, the roughness can be compared between the

etched and unetched samples to determine if etching did occur. Any other significant

changes in the surface or of feature dimensions would be revealed through atomic force

microscopy. If such changes are observed, this could be an indication that gold has an

effect on the etching of GaAs. Atomic force microscopy will be used to help determine if

the sample surface has been altered or if it has remained the same.
















CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

3.1 Atomic Force Microscopy

3.1.1 Sample 1 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars

Sample 1 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is

representative of Samples 2 and 3 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for

comparison. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to

obtain an average star height. The average height is 12.55nm. Figure 15a shows an

AFM image of Sample 1 unetched. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line

scans was taken. In Figure 15b is the plot of the height from that line scan.

In Z-range: 131.9 nm
Co












204166 20430 2C4
a) X-range: 30 [p mI

Figure 15. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 1 unetched. a) This is an AFM
image of sample 1 unetched. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a
line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height as the AFM tip scans the
line drawn in on the AFM image in Figure 15a of sample 1 unetched. Note the relative
smoothness of the scanned surface.










Sample 1 Unetched

14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0-
-2 -1 2 34
microns
b)

Figure 15. Continued

3.1.2 Sample 2 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma

Sample 2 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at

10mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the

edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The average height is 11.65nm. Figure

16a includes an AFM image of sample 2 etched. There is a line drawn in where one of

the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in Figure 16b is the plot of the height from that

line scan.

3.1.3 Sample 3 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma

Sample 3 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 60 seconds at

5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Two stars were analyzed on sample 3, 3A and 3B.

Results for 3A follow; results for 3B are located in Appendix A. Line scans were taken

through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The

average height is 11.48nm. Figure 17a is an AFM image of star 3A from etched sample

3. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in

Figure 17b is the plot of the height from that line scan.































30.0 pM


Data type
2 range


Height
19.4 nM


Sample 2 Etched


18
16
14
12
10
E 8
6
4
2
0
-2


microns


b)

Figure 16. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
a) This is an AFM image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn
on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the
change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM
image in Figure 16a of sample 2 etched. Note the roughness of the surface, particularly
that of the gold star which appears more rough than the gallium arsenide surface.


0
0
























2&414 2&42& 2E44
X-range: 3I mrn]
a)


Sample 3 Etched

18
16
14
12
10
I 8
6
4


-2 )1 2 3 4
microns
b)

Figure 17. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
a) This is an AFM image of star A on the etched sample 3. The line drawn on the image
represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height
of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM image in Figure
17a of star 3A on etched sample 3. Note the roughness of the sample surface.

3.1.4 Sample 6 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars

Sample 6 is unetched gallium arsenide with gold stars. It is representative of

sample 5 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. It is important to

note that the shape of the stars on samples 5 and 6 are different from that of samples 1, 2,

and 3 due to underexposure during the electron-beam lithography process. Line scans

were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height.










The average height is 12.45nm. Figure 18a includes an AFM image of sample 6

unetched. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown

in Figure 18b is the plot of the height from that line scan.


-2S581
X-range: 30 {pIm]


Sample 6 Unetched


16
14
12
10
E 8-
S6
4
2
0 6-- -------------

-2. 1 2 3 4
microns
b)
Figure 18. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 6 unetched. a) This is an AFM
image of sample 6 unetched. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a
line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the
AFM tip scans the line drawn in on the AFM image in Figure 18a of sample 6 unetched.
Note the relative smoothness of the scanned surface.

3.1.5 Sample 5 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma

Sample 5 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at

5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Two stars on etched sample 5 were analyzed, 5A and










5B. Results for 5A follow; results for 5B are located in Appendix A. Line scans were

taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The

average height is 12.20nm. Figure 19a shows an AFM image of star A on the etched

sample 5. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown

in Figure 19b is the plot of the height from that line scan.


-i


zM lj


-3767
X-rarge: 30 [mn]


Sample 5 Etched


16
14
12
10
E 8-
6
4
2
0
-2 1 2 3
microns
b)
Figure 19. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
a) This is an AFM image of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn
on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the
change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM
image in Figure 19a of star A on etched sample 5.









Table 3. Average height and standard deviation for Samples 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6

Sample 1 2A 2B 3A 3B 6 5A 5B
Average
Average 12.55 11.65 11.50 12.00 10.95 12.45 12.20 13.30
Height (nm)
Standard
1.00 2.01 2.04 1.75 2.26 1.64 2.50 1.13
Deviation


3.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive
Spectroscopy

3.2.1 Sample 1 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars

Sample 1 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is

representative of samples 2 and 3 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for

comparison.

























Figure 20. Secondary electron image of sample 1 unetched showing surface features of
the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick.
However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.































Figure 21. Backscatter electron image of sample 1 unetched. Areas of different
composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed
in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.


Figure 22. Secondary electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of
the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of
the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on the particle on the tip of the star. Point
6 is on a surface dot.


MAIC S1 I V)-OkV X5,000 111111 WI) 14-Omm










Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums for both points 1 and 2 on sample 1 were

similar and showed gold peaks indicating the presence of gold. Figure 23 is the spectrum

for point 1. Note the gold peak at approximately 2.2keV. Points 3 and 4 are located off

of the star. Both spectrums showed peaks for gallium and arsenic but no peak for gold.

Figure 24 is the spectrum for point 3. The spectrum for point 2 and point 4 are located in

Appendix B. Spectrums for point 5 and point 6 are shown in Figure 25 and Figure 26.

Figure 27 is the spectrum from a line scan of sample 1 unetched.




Counts

Ga
10000-





5000-



: C Au ,:Ga ,As

0 5 10
Energy (keV)


Figure 23. EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of a star on sample 1 unetched.
Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.













Counts

Ga


10000-





5000-




0 A
0 0. .a A

0 5 10
Energy (keV)




Figure 24. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched. Gallium and
arsenic peaks are present.



Counts

Ga



10000





5000-




Sc u Ga
GaA ,s
0 5 10
Energy (keV)



Figure 25. EDS spectrum for point 5 on the particle on the tip of the star of sample 1
unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.












Counts




10000-





5000-



G '1As
j Ga
I Ga A
0 5 10
Energy (keV)



Figure 26. EDS spectrum for point 6 on a dark dot on the substrate of sample 1 unetched.
Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.


AuMb, 40








Figure 27. EDS gold line scan spectrum on sample 1 unetched.









3.2.2 Sample 2 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Particles Etched in Chlorine/Argon
Plasma

Sample 2 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at

10mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron

image, backscatter electron image, energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and energy

dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on the star of etched

sample 2 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown. Points 3

and 4 on the substrate of etched sample 2 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum

for point 3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix B.

























Figure 28. Secondary electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma
showing the surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because
the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the
gallium arsenide.
































Figure 29. Backscatter electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.


Figure 30. Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center
of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge
of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.


MAIC COMPO If)-OkV X5,000 111111 VVI) 14-3inin


MAIC COMPO V)-OkV X5,000 111111 WI) 14-3nun












Counts

15000-
Ga



10000




5000-



C Au Ga
C Ga As
0-
0 5 10
Energy (keV


Figure 31. EDS spectrum for point 1 on the center of the star of sample 2 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


Counts


Energy keV)


Figure 32. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 2 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.






























AuMb. 50





Figure 33. EDS line scan spectrum for gold for sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. The line drops down when off of the star. This indicates that gold is on the star
but not on the substrate.

3.2.3 Sample 3 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Particles Etched in Chlorine/Argon
Plasma

Sample 3 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 60 seconds at

5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron

image, backscatter electron image, an energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and

energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on the star of

etched sample 3 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown.

Points 3 and 4 on the substrate of etched sample 3 had similar spectrums, thus only the

spectrum for point 3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix

B.































Figure 34. Secondary electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma
showing the surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because
the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the
gallium arsenide. Also present in this image is a particle on the tip of the star.


Figure 35. Backscatter electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
predominant compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the
substrate.


MAIC SEI 15,OkV X5,600 11n;7 WD 14.7nim


MAIC COMPO 15.OkV X5,000 lp7i- WD14,7mm




































Figure 36.
of the star.
of the star.


Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center
Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge
Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on the dark area on the tip of the star.


Counts

10000- Ga


8000-

6000-


4000-


2000-
G As
Au Ga


Energy keV)


Figure 37. EDS spectrum for point 1 on the star of sample 3
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


etched in chlorine/argon













Counts


10000


8000


6000


4000


2000


0


Energy (keV


Figure 38. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 3 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.


Counts


10000 Ga


8000


8000-
C

4000-


2000 I


Energy (keV


Figure 39. EDS spectrum for point 5 on the dark area on the tip of the star in sample 3
etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and carbon peaks are present.


- Ga
Ga













Sa As
Sa AsGa
= ^ j Ga .__________se_ f ___

































AuMb. 33






Figure 40. EDS line scan spectrum for gold on sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma.


3.2.4 Sample 6 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars

Sample 6 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is

representative of Sample 5 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. It

is important to note that the shape of the stars on samples 5 and 6 are different from that

of samples 1, 2, and 3 due to underexposure during the electron-beam lithography

process. Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums for both points 1 and 2 on the star of

sample 6 were similar and showed gold peaks indicating the presence of gold. Figure 44









is the spectrum for point 1. Note the gold peak at approximately 2.2keV. Points 3 and 4

are located off of the star on the substrate. Both spectrums showed peaks for gallium and

arsenic but no peak for gold. Figure 45 is the spectrum for point 3. The spectrum for

point 2 and point 4 are located in Appendix B.

























Figure 41. Secondary electron image of sample 6 unetched showing surface features of
the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick.
However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.






























Figure 42. Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched. Areas of different
composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed
in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.


Figure 43. Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched with map of EDS points.
Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the
substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.












Counts
Ga

10000- s


8000-


6000-


4000-

2000-
0I As
1 Gac As
fJ -: ^ A ________A (a e __


Energy (keV)


Figure 44. EDS spectrum for point 1 on sample 6 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold
peaks are present.


Counts

Ga



10000-





5000-




0 Ga AI

0 5 10
Energy (eV)



Figure 45. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched. Gallium and
arsenic peaks are present.


3.2.5 Sample 5 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma


Sample 5 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at


5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron


image, backscatter electron image, an energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and









energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on star A of

sample 5 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown. Points 3

and 4 on the substrate of sample 5 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point

3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix B. Four stars on

sample 5, labeled A, B, C, and D, were analyzed. Due to similarities in the results, only

results from stars A and B are presented as follows. Results for stars C and D are located

in Appendix B.

























Figure 46. Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image
because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface
of the gallium arsenide. Also present are particles on the star identified as the brighter
spots the image.































Figure 47. Backscatter electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.


Figure 48. Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS
points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on
the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on a
particle on star. Point 6 is on the bright area on the tip of the star.


MAIC SI I V)-OkV X5,000 111111 WI) 14-Inun














Count



10000-





5000-


5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 49. EDS spectrum for point 1 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


Count


Energy (keV)


Figure 50. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.


A on sample 5 etched in












Counts


10000-





5000-


5 10


Energy (keV


Figure 51. EDS spectrum for point 5, a particle on star A of sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


Counts

Ga


10000-





5000-



G As
C Au Ga
a A As


Energy (keV)


Figure 52. EDS spectrum for point 6, a brighter area on the tip of star A on sample 5
etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.
































Figure 53. Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma showing surface features of the sample. The gold star is visible on the surface of
the gallium arsenide. There also particles on the star which appear as brighter areas on
the sample.


Figure 54. Backscatter electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.


MAIC S1 I If)-OkV X5,000 111111 VVI) 14-3inin


MAIC COMPO If)-OkV X5,000 111111 VVI) 14-3mm










































Figure 55. Secondary electron image of star B, on sample 5 etched, with map of EDS
points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on
the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Points 7 and 8 are
each on a particle on the star.



Counts
10000-
Ga

8000


6000-


4000-


2000

C Au Ga
Ga As

0 51 0
Energy (eV)



Figure 56. EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of star B on sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.












Counts


10000-


8000-


8000-


4000-


2000-


0 5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 57. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star B on sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.


Counts


Energy (keV)


Figure 58. EDS spectrum for point 7, star B, with gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine
peaks








51



Counts
Ga

8000- F,


6000-


4000-


2000-
C:
C Au Ga
0: a Ga A
0-
0 5 10
Energy (keV)



Figure 59. EDS spectrum for point 8 on a particle on star B, sample 5, etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.















CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION

4.1 Atomic Force Microscopy Results

Atomic force microscopy was performed on each sample to determine the surface

characteristics of the samples including roughness and height differences. Comparison of

the unetched samples to the etched samples showed that there was no significant

difference in surface characteristics between the samples. Sample 1 was the unetched

sample; it exhibited a relatively smooth surface as shown in Figure 15b (pg 22). Samples

2 and 3 were etched in chlorine/argon plasma and exhibit a rougher surface especially

over the tops of the gold stars; refer to Figures 16b (pg 24) and 17b (pg 26). The average

height of a star on the unetched sample 1 was found to be 12.55nm, while the average

height of stars on etched sample 2 and etched sample 3 were found to be 11.58nm and

11.48nm respectively. With instrument limitations considered, the difference in height

between the samples is not significant. Initially it was unusual that the height of the star

on an unetched sample is higher. However, this could be due to height differences from

when the gold layer was deposited. It is possible to have slight variations in layer

thickness from the deposition of gold in the metal evaporator. Another reason for the

height difference could be attributed to the Argon flow rate. The flow may have been too

high for this situation, causing ion bombardment that physically sputtered the entire

surface to reduce the height of both the gold star and the gallium arsenide substrate. In

addition, the standard deviation more than doubles for the etched Samples 2 and 3, which









makes it more difficult to determine if there were any changes. Similar results were

found for Samples 5 and 6. Sample 6 was the unetched sample and had an average star

height of 12.45nm. Sample 5 was etched in chlorine/argon plasma and had an average

star height of 12.25nm.

The edge profile of the stars was also examined to determine if there was any

change after etching. Again, comparison of the unetched sample to the etched samples

showed no definitive difference in edge profiles between the samples. Figure 60 shows a

plot of the etched Samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed over the unetched Sample 1

line scan. There is an area where it appears that there has been a build up or deposition at

the base of the star, possibly of gold chloride. There is also a loss of surface material on

the gallium arsenide substrate as noted by the negative area of the curve. This is an

indication that the gallium arsenide is being etched.


Samples 1, 2, & 3
c)
18 > 2mTnrr
16
14
12-
10 Sample
nm 8
nm Sample
4 Sample 3
2 ;____________-----
0
-2
-21 Y 2 3 4 5
-4
microns


Figure 60. This is a plot of the etched samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed over the
unetched sample 1 line scan. There is an area where it appears that there has been a build
up or deposition at the base of the star, possibly of gold chloride. There is also a loss of
surface material on the gallium arsenide substrate as noted by the negative area of the
curve.











Sample 6 & 5

16
14
12
10
E8 -- Sample 6
S6 Sample 5
4
2
4-- -------------------


-2 33 4.
microns

Figure 61. This is a plot of the etched sample 5 line scan superimposed over the unetched
sample 6 line scan. There is a negative area where material has been removed close to
the base of the gold star.


Figure 61 shows a plot of the etched Sample 5 line scan superimposed over the unetched

Sample 6 line scan. There is no sign of build up or deposition as was observed in Figure

60. Also in Figure 61, there is a negative area where material has been removed close to

the base of the gold star. This is an indication that the gallium arsenide is being etched.

Tilting the samples during AFM analysis allowed further investigation of the edge

profile, specifically for possible undercutting of the gold. There appears to be no

undercutting observed in the results as would be expected from a purely chemical etch

mechanism. Thus, the AFM results show that the presence of gold during the etching of

gallium arsenide has no visible influence using these methods.

4.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive
Spectroscopy

Sample 1 is unetched gallium arsenide with gold stars and is used as a guideline

to determine if the etched samples, samples 2 and 3, exhibited any change in surface

characteristics after being etched. A gold star on unetched sample 1 is clearly visible in









the secondary electron image (Figure 20, pg 28) indicating a change in topography

between the star and the gallium arsenide substrate. Also seen in this image is one

particle on the tip of the star, which is believed to be a contaminant. Backscatter electron

imaging also suggests this particle may be a contaminant. In backscatter imaging

elements with higher atomic number, such as gold, appear brighter than lower atomic

elements, such as the gallium and arsenic. This is true in the backscatter image of the

unetched sample 1 as shown in Figure 21 on page 29. The star is brighter than the

surrounding gallium arsenide. The particle that appeared in the secondary electron image

also appears in the backscatter electron image as a dark area. Since it is darker than the

rest of the image, the particle is most likely a contaminant of a lighter element such as

carbon. An energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum of that area was taken to identify

what the particle was, Figure 25 on page 31. The spectrum taken at that point was similar

to other points taken on the star where there was no particle; only peaks for gallium,

arsenic, and gold were observed. Thus, it is believed that this particle is most likely a

particle of gallium arsenide that was broken off the sample. Other points on the sample

were analyzed to determine where the gold was. As was expected, all points taken on the

star displayed a gold peak in the spectrums, Figure 23 on page 30. All points taken off of

the star on the substrate displayed only gallium and arsenic peaks, no gold peak, Figure

24 on page 31.

Samples 2 and 3 are etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Images from both samples

are similar to the images for sample 1. The secondary electron image indicates the

topography difference between the star and the substrate. The gold star is brighter than

the gallium arsenide substrate in the backscatter electron image. Energy dispersive









spectroscopy spectrums display gold peaks for points taken on the stars, but no gold

peaks for those points taken off of the stars. Etched sample 3 exhibited a particle on its

tip similar to that of unetched sample 1, Figure 34 on page 37. The spectrum from that

point displayed a significant carbon peak as shown in Figure 39 on page 39. The lack of

difference between unetched sample 1 and etched samples 2 and 3 indicate that the gold

has had no significant or definitive influence on the etching of gallium arsenide.

Samples 5 and 6, as mentioned previously, used a lower dosage when being

patterned with the electron beam lithography resulting in underexposure of the resist and

incomplete stars. This is evident when viewing the images of samples 5 and 6 with those

of samples 1, 2, and 3. Sample 6 is unetched and is used as the basis for comparison for

the etched sample 5. In the secondary electron image for sample 6 as shown in Figure 41

on page 41, the difference in topography between the star and substrate is observed.

There are no unusual particles on the surface. The backscatter electron image is as

expected with the gold star appearing brighter than the gallium arsenide substrate, Figure

42 on page 42. Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums are also as expected. The

spectrums for points taken on the star displayed peaks of gold, while the spectrums for

points taken off of the star did not.

The secondary electron images of etched sample 5, unlike the clean image of

unetched sample 6, showed many particles on the star but not on the substrate, Figure 46

on page 44. In the backscatter electron image the particles were not observed, indicating

that they are most likely gold as is the star. Although both star A and star B on etched

sample 5 exhibit these particles, only the energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for

star B displayed chlorine peaks for those particles, Figures 58 and 59 on pages 50 and 51.









It is unclear exactly why only etched sample 5 has these chlorine particles while etched

samples 2 and 3 do not even though all were exposed to similar chemistry. A possible

explanation is that gold can form chlorides. However, these chlorides are more difficult

to remove from the surface of the sample because of their low volatility as suggested by

Efremov, Kim, and Kim. Several other stars on etched sample 5 were examined for

comparison. The results for two of those stars star C and star D, are located in Appendix

A-3. Star C had no particles on its surface, thus there were no chlorine peaks in the

energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums. Star D did have a few particles. However,

the spectrums for star D do display chlorine peaks on the particles. As was the case for

stars A and B, for stars C and D any particles that were observed in the secondary

electron images are not observed in the backscatter electron image. There was no regular

pattern as to where the particles were located (ie, the edges, the tips, or the center of the

stars). The data was inconsistent to make any reasonable assumptions as to why there

were or were not particles on the samples and why some of those particles exhibited

chlorine peaks while others did not.















CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY

Gallium arsenide is a valuable semiconductor material used in many applications

including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics, and integrated circuits. The desire to

continuously improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative

applications necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. One key step in the

processing technique is the development of the features through plasma etching. As the

feature sizes become smaller, precision in the formation of the features becomes more

critical. Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch gallium

arsenide wafers during device manufacturing primarily because of the volatility of the

chlorides that are formed by the reaction [14]. Gold has been determined to be relatively

inert during plasma etching and therefore has been used as a mask material when creating

nanostructures, IC circuits, and other microelectronic devices [6,8,9]. There has been

some thought that gold may be used as a catalyst to enhance the etching process. In

oxidation and hydrogenation systems this has been proven true. However, does gold act

as a catalyst in chlorine plasma to enhance the etching of gallium arsenide?

A sample was prepared with gold stars on a gallium arsenide substrate and then

etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Electron beam lithography was used to create the

template for the star array. Gold was then deposited onto the sample with a metal

evaporator filling the voids created during electron beam lithography to form the gold

stars. The samples were then analyzed for any changes in surface characteristics after









being etched using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy

dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive

results show that the gold stars remained intact on the substrate surface. There was no

consistent or significant change in the profile at the edge of the star to indicate that the

gold influenced the etching of the gallium arsenide. Analysis with atomic force

microscopy gave results that lead to the same conclusion. The atomic force microscopy

results did show that the surface of both the gallium arsenide and the gold was etched.

Unetched samples had a relatively smooth surface while the etched samples exhibited a

rough surface characteristic of etching. Through this research using these conditions it

was shown that gold does not influence the etching of gallium arsenide in chlorine

plasma.



















APPENDIX A
ADDITIONAL AFM RESULTS


L1
3OD




CD )
'E

MD CD
C1
n
Co
>-o


10m0
X-rarge: 30 [pm]


Sample 3 Etched, Star 3B


16
14
12
10

E 8
C 6
4
2


-2 2 3 4

microns

b)
Figure 62. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
a) This is an AFM image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn
on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the
change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM
sample in Figure Ala of sample 3 etched.







61





Z-range: 308.5 nm



E 200










a)





Sample 5 Etched, Star 5B

16


10
E 8
16



4



2
0
C 6




-2 1 2 3 4
microns
b)

Figure 63. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.
a) This is an AFM image of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn
on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the
change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn in Figure 63a
of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.

















APPENDIX B
ADDITIONAL SEM/EDS RESULTS


Energy (keV)


Figure 64. EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 1 unetched. Gallium, arsenic,
and gold peaks are present.












Counts




10000-


Energy (keV)


Figure 65. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched. Gallium and
arsenic peaks are present.


Counts
15000-


Energy (keV)


Figure 66. EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.














Counts


0 5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 67. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 2 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.







Counts
10000-
Ga

8000-


6000-


4000-


2000-

: Au Ga
SLC A --Ga As

0 5 10
Energy (keV)


Figure 68. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.














Counts

10000- Ga


8000-


6000-


4000-


2000-

L Au Ga As
0- A I ---


Energy (keV)


Figure 69. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 3 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.








Counts



10000- I


Energy (keV)


Figure 70. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 6 unetched. Gallium, arsenic,
and gold peaks are present.













Counts


0 5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 71. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched. Gallium and
arsenic peaks are present.


Counts


0 5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 72. EDS spectrum for point 2 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.














Counts


0 5 10


Energy (keV)


Figure 73. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.







Counts

10000- Ga


8000-


6000-


4000-


2000-
C As
Au Ga
Ga As


Energy (keV)


Figure 74. EDS spectrum of point 2 on star B of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.














Counts
Ga
10000-

8000-

6000-

4000-

2000-
C G As
Au Ga As

0 5 10



Figure 75. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.


Energy (keV)


Figure 76. Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image
because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface
of the gallium arsenide.






























Figure 77. Backscatter electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.






















Figure 78. Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS
points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on
the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.































Energy (keV)


Figure 79. EDS spectrum of point 1 on star C of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


Energy (keV)


Figure 80. EDS spectrum of point 2 on star C of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.


















Counts


Energy (keV)


Figure 81. EDS spectrum of point 3 on the substrate near star C of sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.






Counts

Ga
15000-



10000-



5000-

C G Cl Ga
A0 u A Ga As
0 5 10
Energy (keV)






Figure 82. EDS spectrum of point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.

































Figure 83. Secondary electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image
because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface
of the gallium arsenide. There are also two particles on the star.









A -
i' ^ ^-b *.p.' i$p:

W4". V ,.46
^^^ -, -"IS^
-r' .'
," .- ( ... _- ..-,

.. ........ ...... ..... .... ..-
', '. ,? ('' 'dl, .;,:. l fs
-.* ." ., ,.--.t. '*.- o \._,a t i, j. Ir :. .; 1;





Figure 84. Backscatter electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two
compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.








73






.'. ". .. .. .. ... ..... .. ".. : .' .. .







.. .... ... .. .. ... ." . .,



...... .."i .. ..

":' -." :: ".. : .. .. ::: ::. : ... w i : ;.. .. "














Figure 85. Secondary electron image of star D with a map of EDS points. Point 1 is on a
particle on star D. Point 2 is on a particle on the tip of star D.









Counts
15000
Ga




10000-





5000-



C1 As
Au Ga
0. ,Ga As
0 5 10
Energy (keV)






Figure 86. EDS spectrum for point 1 on star D of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon
plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.

























10000-







C CGa s
Au Ga As

0 5 10
Energy (keV)






Figure 87. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a particle on star D of sample 5 etched in
chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.















REFERENCES


[1] Gary S. May and Simon M. Sze, Fundamentals of Semiconductor Fabrication,
Wiley, New York, 2004.

[2] BrainyMedia, "Gallium arsenide," Nov 2002,
http://www.brainvencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/g/ga/galliumarsenide.html,
Nov 30, 2004.

[3] D. Manos and D. Flamm (eds), Plasma Etching: An Introduction, Academic Press,
Inc., Boston, 1989.

[4] R.R. Moskalyk: "Gallium: The backbone of the electronics industry" Min. Eng.
16(10): 921-929, Oct 2003.

[5] MEMS and Nanotechnology Clearinghouse, "Etching processes," Nov 2004,
http://www.memsnet.org/mems/beginner/etch.html, Nov 30, 2004.

[6] Subash Mahajan and K.S. Sree Harsha, Principles of Gi i ith and Processing of
Semiconductors, WCB/McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1999.

[7] P. Werbaneth, Z. Hasan, P. Rajora, M. Rousey-Seidel, "The reactive ion etching of
Au on GaAs substrates in a high density plasma etch reactor," The International
Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, GaAs
Mantech, Inc, St. Louis, 1999.

[8] R. Grisel, K.J. Weststrate, A. Gluhoi, B.E. Nieuwenhuys, "Catalysis by gold
nanoparticles," Gold Bulletin 35(2): 39-45, 2002.

[9] D. Thompson, "A golden future for catalysis," Nov 2001,
http://www.chemsoc.org/chembytes/ezine/200 l/thompson_nov01.htm, Nov 30,
2004.

[10] A.M. Efremov, Dong-Pyo Kim, and Chang-I1 Kim, "Etching characteristics and
mechanism of Au thin films in inductively coupled C12/Ar plasma" J. Vac. Sci.
Technol. A 21(6): 1837-1842, Nov/Dec 2003.

[11] R.J. Shul and S.J. Pearton (eds), Handbook ofAdvanced Plasma Processing
Techniques, Springer, New York, 2000.






76


[12] W.C. Simpson and J.A. Yarmoff: "Fundamental studies of halogen reactions with
III-V semiconductor surfaces," Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 47: 527-54, 1996.

[13] M. Sugiyama, T. Yamaizumi, M. Nezuka, Y. Shimogaki, Y. Nakano, K. Tada, and
H. Komiyama: "Simple kinetic model of ECR reactive ion beam etching reactor
for the optimization of GaAs etching process," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 35: 1235-
1241, 1996.

[14] W.N.G. Hitchon, Plasma Processesfor Semiconductor Fabrication, Cambridge
University Press, New York, 1999.

[15] C.L. Henderson, "Introduction to Electron Beam Lithography,"
http://dot.che.gatech.edu/henderson/intro%20to%20e-beam%201ithography2.htm,
Nov 30, 2004.















BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Erika Courtney Lent was born and raised in Cooper City, Florida. She lived with

her parents Ken and Terry Lent and younger brothers Judd and Ross. After graduating

from Cooper City High School in 1998, Erika enrolled as a freshman at the University of

Florida to pursue her interest in engineering. Throughout college, she enjoyed

involvement in the Society of Women Engineers, American Ceramics Society, and Alpha

Xi Delta sorority. In August 2002, Erika graduated with a Bachelor of Science in

Materials Science and Engineering degree from the University of Florida. Shortly

thereafter, she was accepted into the graduate program in the Department of Materials

Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She will graduate with a Master of

Science degree in May 2005.




Full Text

PAGE 1

INFLUENCE OF GOLD PARTICLES ON GALLIUM ARSENIDE SUBSTRATE WHEN ETCHED IN CHLORINE PLASMA By ERIKA COURTNEY LENT A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

PAGE 2

Copyright 2004 By Erika Courtney Lent

PAGE 3

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank and acknowledge my advisor, Dr. Claudia Milz, and Dr. Mark Davidson for their guidance and support with this research. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude towards my family and friends for their endless support and encouragement. I could not have done it without them. They gave me the courage to keep going when things looked dark and the inspiration to surpass my own expectations to achieve all that I have. iii

PAGE 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES..............................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................xii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................1 2 EXPERIMENTATION..........................................................................................14 2.1 Sample Preparation....................................................................................14 2.2 Analysis Techniques..................................................................................20 3 RESULTS..............................................................................................................22 3.1 Atomic Force Microscopy.........................................................................22 3.1.1 Sample 1.........................................................................................22 3.1.2 Sample 2.........................................................................................23 3.1.3 Sample 3.........................................................................................23 3.1.4 Sample 6.........................................................................................25 3.1.5 Sample 5.........................................................................................26 3.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy..........................................................................................28 3.2.1 Sample 1.........................................................................................28 3.2.2 Sample 2.........................................................................................33 3.2.3 Sample 3.........................................................................................36 3.2.4 Sample 6.........................................................................................40 3.2.5 Sample 5.........................................................................................43 4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS.................................................................52 4.1 Atomic Force Microscopy.........................................................................52 4.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy..........................................................................................54 iv

PAGE 5

5 SUMMARY...........................................................................................................58 APPENDIX A ADDITIONAL AFM RESULTS...........................................................................60 B ADDITIONAL SEM/EDS RESULTS..................................................................62 REFERENCE LIST...........................................................................................................75 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................77 v

PAGE 6

LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1 General trends of etch conditions when a parameter is increased...9 2 Etch recipes for each sample..19 3 Average height and standard deviation for Samples 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6....28 vi

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LIST OF FIGURES Figures Page 1 The two basic methods of pattern transfer ..........................................2 2 Anisotropic etching.......................... 3 A simple plasma reactor.......................................5 4 The plasma sheath........5 5 A schematic of the plasma reactor.......8 6 Sputtering versus chemical etching...10 7 Non-directional versus directional etching 8 Etch profiles due to increased chlorine flow..11 9 Increased Ar flow increases etch depth and anisotropy of GaAs..................12 10 Increased pressure decreases etch rate...13 11 Electron-beam Lithography apparatus... 12 The development of the pattern.....16 13 Metal evaporator 14 Optical microscope image of the gold star array on GaAs....18 15 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 1 unetched 16 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma...24 17 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma...25 18 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 6 unetched 19 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma...27 vii

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20 Secondary electron image of sample 1 unetched...28 21 Backscatter electron image of sample 1 unetched.29 22 Secondary electron image with map of EDS points......................................29 23 EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of a star on sample 1 unetched....30 24 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched.....................31 25 EDS spectrum for point 5 on the particle on the tip of the star................. 26 EDS spectrum for point 6 on a dark dot on the substrate of sample 1...32 27 EDS gold line scan spectrum on sample 1 unetched.....32 28 Secondary electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma......33 29 Backscatter electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....34 30 Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points.................................34 31 EDS spectrum for point 1 on the center of the star of sample 2 etched.............35 32 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 2 etched.........35 33 EDS line scan spectrum for gold for sample 2 etched.......36 34 Secondary electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma......37 35 Backscatter electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....37 36 Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points.................................38 37 EDS spectrum for point 1 on the star of sample 3 etched..............38 38 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 3 etched.........39 39 EDS spectrum for point 5 on the dark area on the tip of the star...........................39 40 EDS line scan spectrum for gold on sample 3 etched........................40 41 Secondary electron image of sample 6 unetched...................................................41 42 Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched.................................................42 viii

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43 Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched with map of EDS points.........42 44 EDS spectrum for point 1 on sample 6 unetched...................................................43 45 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched.........................43 46 Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................44 47 Backscatter electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................45 48 Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS points.........................................................................................................45 49 EDS spectrum for point 1 on star A on sample 5 etched.......................................46 50 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star A on sample 5.....................46 51 EDS spectrum for point 5, a particle on star A of sample 5..................................47 52 EDS spectrum for point 6, a brighter area on the tip of star A on sample 5..........47 53 Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................48 54 Backscatter electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................48 55 Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched, with map of EDS points.........................................................................................................49 56 EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of star B on sample 5 etched...................49 57 EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star B on sample 5 etched..........50 58 EDS spectrum for point 7, star B...........................................................................50 59 EDS spectrum for point 8 on a particle on star B, sample 5, etched.....................51 60 This is a plot of the etched samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed...................53 61 This is a plot of the etched sample 5 line scan superimposed...............................54 62 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.......60 ix

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63 AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.......61 64 EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 1 unetched..................................62 65 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched.........................63 66 EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 2 etched......................................63 67 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 2 etched.............................64 68 EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 3 etched.........................................64 69 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 3 etched.............................65 70 EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 6 unetched.....................................65 71 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched.........................66 72 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................66 73 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................67 74 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star B of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................67 75 EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................68 76 Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................68 77 Backscatter electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................69 78 Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS points.........................................................................................................69 79 EDS spectrum of point 1 on star C of sample 5 etched.........................................70 80 EDS spectrum of point 2 on star C of sample 5 etched.........................................70 81 EDS spectrum of point 3 on the substrate near star C of sample 5........................71 82 EDS spectrum of point 4 on the substrate of sample 5..........................................71 x

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83 Secondary electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................72 84 Backscatter electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma....................................................................................................................72 85 Secondary electron image of star D with a map of EDS points.............................73 86 EDS spectrum for point 1 on star D of sample 5 etched........................................73 87 EDS spectrum for point 2 on star D of sample 5 etched........................................74 xi

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science INFLUENCE OF GOLD PARTICLES ON GALLIUM ARSENIDE SUBSTRATE WHEN ETCHED IN CHLORINE PLASMA By Erika Courtney Lent May 2005 Chair: Claudia Milz Major Department: Materials Science and Engineering Gallium arsenide is a valuable semiconductor material used in many applications including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics, and integrated circuits. The desire to continuously improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative applications necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. One key step in the processing technique is the development of the features through plasma etching. As the feature sizes become smaller, precision in the formation of the features becomes more critical. Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch gallium arsenide wafers during device manufacturing primarily because of the volatility of the chlorides that are formed by the reaction. There has been some thought that gold may be used as a catalyst to enhance the etching process. A sample was prepared with gold stars on a gallium arsenide substrate and then etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Electron beam lithography was used to create the xii

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template for the star array. Gold was then deposited onto the sample with a metal evaporator filling the voids created during electron beam lithography to form the gold stars. The samples were then analyzed for any changes in surface characteristics after being etched using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive results show that the gold stars remained intact on the substrate surface. There was no significant change in surface conditions between etched and unetched samples, indicating that the presence of gold did not enhance the etching of the gallium arsenide. Analysis with atomic force microscopy gave results that led to the same conclusion. The atomic force microscopy results did show that the surface was etched. Unetched samples had a relatively smooth surface while the etched samples exhibited a rough surface characteristic of etching. Through this research using these methods it was shown that gold does not influence the etching of gallium arsenide in chlorine plasma. xiii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background This research aims to describe and understand the corrosion mechanisms of a gallium arsenide substrate decorated with gold particles when etched in plasma with the intent of creating nanostructures. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) is a valuable semiconductor material used in many applications including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics, and integrated circuits. It is desirable for its superior electronic properties over Silicon, another material often used in the semiconductor industry. GaAs has a high electron mobility that allows for operation at high frequencies (>250GHz) with minimal noise [1, 2]. Another advantage of GaAs is that it has the ability to emit light due to its direct band gap. One major disadvantage of GaAs compared to silicon is cost; silicon is very inexpensive because it is the second most abundant element on Earth and has fewer processing limitations than GaAs [1, 2]. May and Sze point out that since the beginning of the microelectronics era, the minimum feature length of an integrated circuit has been reduced at a rate of about 13% per year. By the year 2010 the minimum feature length is estimated to be 50nm. Along with the shrinking sizes of devices come the advantages of reduced unit cost per circuit function, increased device speed, expanded functional throughput rates, and decreased power consumption [1, 3]. The consumer demand for such devices could drive the growth of the gallium industry even faster than the forecasted 290 metric tons by the year 2008 [4]. Thus, the desire to continuously 1

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2 improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative applications necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. A key step in the processing technique is the development of the features. As the feature sizes become smaller, precision in the formation of the features becomes critical; any deviation could result in a failed device. Before the features are formed it is necessary to create a template on the material through either an additive or subtractive process to define where the features are to be located as shown in Figure 1. In the subtractive process, the feature material is deposited directly onto the substrate. To pattern this film, a mask is formed next, usually by photolithography [3]. The mask material, or resist, is a light-sensitive polymer that is spun onto the wafer and dried. It is exposed to light through a mask containing the desired pattern. The exposed areas of resist can then be removed. In the additive process, the mask is created first and is then followed by deposition of the feature material. Unexposed areas of resist are removed with a developer [3]. Figure 1. The two basic methods of pattern transfer are: subtractive, where the material is removed from areas not protected by the mask; and additive, where the material is deposited over the mask pattern and the mask with the undesired material deposits is later removed [3, 5].

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3 Now that a template has been established, the next step is etching. There are two main methods used in industry to create the features, wet etching or dry etching. Wet etching occurs when a material is dissolved when submersed in a chemical solution. A disadvantage of wet etching is the isotropic nature which increases the difficulty to control critical feature dimensions [3, 5]. Isotropic etching is when a material etches at the same rate in all directions; undercutting is often a problem as shown in Figure 2. Anisotropic etching, when a material etches at different rates in different directions can also be a problem. Certain crystallographic planes of some materials etch at different rates. However, if those planes are not vertical to the surface being etched, the hole being created will not have perfectly vertical sidewalls (Figure 2). Figure 2. Anisotropic etching, different etch rates in different directions, with off-vertical sidewalls. Isotropic etching, same etch rate in all directions, with undercutting of the mask. [5] These are extreme examples of each case; it is possible to have a combination of anisotropic and isotropic etching characteristics. Dry etching occurs when a material is sputtered off or dissolved using reactive ions or a vapor phase etchant. An advantage of dry etching is the ability to better control feature dimensions; there is greater resolution of the features. However, the cost of dry etching is significantly greater than for wet etching. Wet chemical etching is used extensively in

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4 semiconductor processing [1]. However, it is best suitable for whole surface etching and not for patterning as a major disadvantage is the undercutting of the material below the mask, resulting in a loss of resolution of the final features [1]. Thus, regardless of the increased costs, industry has adopted the dry etch method to achieve the small features needed to keep up with the demands for smaller and smaller devices [1, 3, 5]. Plasma etching is a dry etching method and is of particular interest because of its efficiency in producing micron-sized features of specific dimensions and extensive use in the semiconductor industry. In general, a plasma can be described as an ionized gas that is charge neutral. This means that there are equal numbers of free positive and negative charges [1, 3]. The charges are generated when a voltage is applied between two electrodes inducing a current flow to form the plasma as shown in Figure 3. The positive charge is mostly in the form of singly ionized neutrals, including atoms, radicals, or molecules, that have been stripped of one electron [3]. The negative charges are usually free electrons [3]. As the diffusion of charge to the walls and recombination on the sample surface occurs, there is a depletion of charge in the adjacent gas. Because the electrons are light and have high energy, they diffuse the fastest, leaving a thin boundary layer of positive charge referred to as the sheath [3]. Positive ions are accelerated towards the surface of the substrate which has accumulated a negative charge from the electrons that have diffused to the substrate and strike at near-normal incidence. This causes directional etching and results in features with vertical sidewalls. Figure 4 illustrates the sheath and near-normal incidence of the ion striking to produce vertical sidewalls.

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5 Figure 3. A simple plasma reactor consisting of opposed parallel plate electrodes in a vacuum chamber. There is a continuous gas feed in and a port for pumping out. A radio frequency power source is coupled to the electrodes to generate a plasma. [3] Plasma ++++++ ++ --------Sheath Substrate Electrode Figure 4. The plasma sheath. The diffusion of electrons from the gas adjacent to the sample to the walls or surfaces creates a positive layer called the sheath. The accumulated negative charge on the substrate attracts the positive charges of the sheath which accelerate towards and strike the the substrate a near-normal incidence. This produces vertical sidewalls.

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6 The reactive neutral and charged species generated from the plasma react with the substrate to form volatile species. For example, in Cl 2 chemistry, Cl and Cl 2 neutrals and charged Cl radicals form AsCl x volatiles with a GaAs substrate. Chemical etching occurs when the volatile species evaporate, reducing the substrate thickness usually isotropically. In addition, the electrostatic fields created by the particles of the plasma may accelerate charged species so that substrate material is removed due to the ion bombardment, mechanical etching which tends to be anisotropic. Non-volatile, or less volatile, etch products (GaCl x ) may also be removed through ion bombardment. It is the relationship between the physical sputtering and the chemical reaction mechanisms that greatly influence the dimensions of the features, both of which can be influenced by etch parameters that will be discussed later in this paper. Selectivity, the ratio of etch rates between different materials when exposed to the same environment [6], also is an important factor in feature dimensions. Chemical etching is more selective than mechanical etching and is inherently sensitive to differences in bonds and the consistency of the substrate [3]. The degree of selective etching of one material relative to others can most easily be manipulated through changes in plasma chemistry [6]. Materials may also exhibit selectivity of one crystallographic plane over another as in GaAs. For GaAs in Cl 2 plasma, the relative etch rates of the crystal planes are As-rich [111]>[100]>[110]>Ga-rich [111] [3]. Gold Plasma Etching Gold has been determined to be relatively inert during plasma etching and therefore has been used as a mask material when creating nanostructures, IC circuits, and other microelectronic devices [7,8,9]. If gold is etched, it tends to be physically sputtered

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7 off through ion-bombardment with an inert gas such as Argon. Efremov, Kim, and Kim have shown that physical etching of gold is more effective than chemical etching with an etch rate in pure Argon more than double that of the etch rate in pure chlorine [10]. They have also shown that there is an accumulation of the reaction products, AuCl x with the increase of chlorine content. The accumulation is due to the low volatility of AuCl x To encourage the gold chlorides to leave the sample surface, an inert gas is often introduced to the system which provides a physical motivation. There has been some thought that gold may be used as a catalyst to enhance the etching process. Though there is not much known about the details of this process, it is believed that when small clusters or particles of gold, approximately 3-5nm in size, are deposited onto the surface of a substrate the etch rate is enhanced [8, 9]. Some of the reactions catalyzed by gold include the oxidation of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, hydrogenation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and the removal of carbon monoxide from hydrogen streams [8, 9]. Thompson reports that the use of gold for heterogeneous catalysis, in which the catalyst and reactants are in different phases, could have considerable industrial significance. Hence, this is the reason for using gold as a potential catalyst for the system in this research. Plasma Etching A Plasmatherm 770 Electron Cyclotron Resonance/Reactive Ion Etching reactor was used to etch the substrate. A diagram of the apparatus is shown in Figure 5. In an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) reactor, microwave power and a static magnetic field work together to force the electrons to circulate around the magnetic field lines with an angular frequency. When the frequency of the circulating electrons matches that of the

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8 applied microwave frequency, a high degree of dissociation and ionization (10 -2 for ECR compared with 10 -6 for RIE) results due to the coupling between the electron energy and the applied electric field [9]. The ECR creates high density plasma in which the concentration of charged particles is approximately 10 11 cm -3 [1,3,11]. A high density plasma can potentially produce higher etch rates because of the increased concentration of charged particles and typically exhibits less damage than that produced from a reactive ion etching reactor [1, 11]. Figure 5. A schematic of the plasma reactor is pictured. Note the circulation of electrons in the plasma induced by the magnetic coil in the upper region of the etch chamber. The reactive ion etching (RIE) part of the reactor consists of a radio frequency applied to the sample platform acts as a grounded electrode with an area the size of the reactor chamber. As electrons attach to the sample surface a negative self-bias occurs which attracts the energetic ions of the plasma to the surface. There is a load lock chamber where the sample is inserted before being transferred into the etch chamber by

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9 an automatic arm. An applied radio frequency (RF) substrate power influences the ion speed; a higher RF power increases the ion speed and the amount of sputtering, mechanical etching, which occurs. The microwave power influences the plasma density; an increase in microwave power results in a more dense plasma with more ionized particles that will enhance chemical etching. Table 1 summarizes these parameters. Table 1. General trends of etch conditions when a parameter is increased Parameters Sputter Etching Chemical Etching Etch Rate Vertical Sidewalls Pressure Temperature Cl 2 Flow Ar Flow Microwave Power RF Power Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch GaAs wafers during device manufacturing [12]. This is primarily because of the volatility of the chlorides that are formed by the reaction. Group III chlorides, GaCl 2 and InCl 2 are suitably volatile at practical processing temperatures where as Group III fluorides, GaF 3 and InF 3 are not, making Cl 2 chemistry the preferred choice [3]. It is for these reasons that chlorine has been selected as the etchant of choice for this research. Etch Mechanisms From previous research, it is understood that the chemical etching mechanism leads to a more isotropic etch characteristic, and undercutting, while physical sputtering leads to a more anisotropic etch (Figure 6). The chemical etch of a material depends on the reaction between the reactive neutral species (i.e., Cl, Cl 2 ) with the sample.

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10 Mechanical etching or ion-assisted etching (bombarding ions remove non-volatile etch products) is driven by the acceleration of the charged species in the plasma towards the oppositely charged sample due to the applied RF power as illustrated in Figure 7. Thus chemical etching is more probable to occur than direct ion bombardment on the feature sidewalls. For example, an increased flow rate of Cl 2 increased the concentration of Cl that are able to form volatile species with the GaAs substrate resulting in sidewalls that are more rounded [13] (Figure 8a). It is also expected that as the concentration of Cl is increased, a layer of increasing thickness of GaCl 3 forms, limiting the etch rate [3, 14]. The GaCl 3 forms at the surface of the GaAs. Its low volatility prevents it from desorbing off of the GaAs substrate unless it is energetically removed by ion bombardment. The etch depth and sharpness of the feature dimensions decreased with increasing Cl 2 flow rate (Figure 8b). Similar results are expected for increasing Cl 2 flow rates from our experimentation. Future TEM analysis would show the crystallographic selectivity of GaAs planes with the As rich planes having a higher etch rate than the Ga rich planes due to the formation of more volatile As chloride species. Werbaneth et al, reported that an increased Cl 2 flow decreased the etch profile, more tapered sidewalls, and increased the Au etch rate. At a high enough Cl 2 flow, it is expected that some reduction in the gold layer will occur. Figure 6. Sputtering versus chemical etching.

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11 Figure 7. Non-directional versus directional etching. Figure 8. Etch profiles due to increased chlorine flow. Adding Ar into the plasma chemistry enhanced anisotropic etching. It created ion bombardment by a non-reactive species that encouraged the volatilization of etchants such as the often rate limiting GaCl 3 species. Because of this, it is expected that as the Ar flow rate increases, the amount of ion bombardment increases, reducing the GaCl 3 layer Au Au Au Au GaCl 3 GaAs GaAs a) Rounded sidewalls due to increased chlorine flow. The concentration of chlorine reactants is increased. This increases the amount of chemical etching which tends to be isotropic. b) The accumulation of GaCl 3 a less volatile species, at the bottom and sides of the feature often result in a loss of etch depth and feature definition. With increased chlorine flow and the increase in chlorine reactant concentration, more GaCl 3 is formed. non-volatile (GaCl x ) Ar or Cl Cl 2 volatile (AsCl x ) sample (GaAs) sample (GaAs) a) Reactive neutral species combine with sample surface to form a volatile species that leaves the substrate; non-directional etching. b) Charged ions accelerated toward substrate at near-normal incidence. Removal of substrate material or non-volatile etch product may occur. Etching is directional.

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12 thickness by encouraging volatilization and increasing the etch depth (Figure 9). Since ion bombardment occurs predominantly at the bottom of a feature, the overall etch rate in that direction becomes more rapid than the rate in all other directions resulting in anisotropic etching [11]. The Au etch rate also increased as the Ar flow increased and the sidewalls became more tapered [7, 8]. a) Low Ar flow c) High Ar flow b) Intermediate Ar flow Figure 9. Increased Ar flow increases etch depth and anisotropy of GaAs. For optimal etching, where the conditions are the most favorable for etching to occur, it is desirable to maximize the amount of species present at the substrate surface. This increases the likelihood of and the opportunity for the species to react with the surface to form a volatile product resulting in the etching of that surface. At pressures higher than 2 mTorr, the reactive species are more likely to collide and recombine before reaching the substrate surface resulting in a decreased etch rate and shallow etch depth. The shallow etch depth may also be attributed to the reduced sputtering due to energy losses suffered from the particle collisions. It seems likely that the resulting features will have low angle sidewalls. At pressures lower than 2 mTorr, there is sufficient species present at the substrate surface for etching. The etch profile at 2 mTorr is expected to have close to vertical sidewalls and greater etch depths than other pressures (Figure 10). However, at pressures below 1 mTorr, insufficient amounts of Cl 2 limit etching [3]. The

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13 resulting etch profile is expected to be similar to that of pressures greater than 2 mTorr due to the lack of reactive species present to cause etching. < 2mTorr Samples 1 Figure 10. Increased pressure decreases etch rate.

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CHAPTER 2 EXPERIMENTATION 2.1 Sample Preparation Using a Spincoater Model P6700 Series by Specialty Coating Systems, Inc., a 2 GaAs(001) wafer is spin-coated with 950 molecular weight polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) to form a film approximately 400nm thick. The wafer is placed into the spincoater and is held in place by vacuum force from below on the sample holder. The sample holder then begins to spin the wafer. The wafer is cleaned before being coated with PMMA, first with acetone and then with methanol to prevent contamination from particulates and impurities in the acetone. Once dry, the spinning is stopped to deposit the PMMA onto the wafer. A pipette is used to draw the PMMA from the center of an unshaken bottle to avoid any particles that may have settled. The PMMA is deposited onto the center of the wafer until it covers as much of the wafer as possible without dripping over the edge also being careful to avoid air bubbles. Spinning is resumed and continues until the PMMA is evenly distributed over the wafer. When spinning is complete, the wafer is baked on a hot plate at 160C for 15 minutes to drive out any residual solvent. The wafer is then cleaved into quarters for ease of handling and processing. 14

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15 Figure 11. Electron-beam Lithography apparatus. The Computer Control instructs the patterning of the mask by both adjusting the beam blanking and table positioning to achieve the desired pattern as set by the operator with the CAD program [15]. Electron-beam lithography is used next to create an ordered pattern in the PMMA resist. Design CAD is the program that is used to create a pattern and then instructs the electron-beam apparatus of the FEI XL-40 field emission microscope how to create that pattern. An apparatus is shown in Figure 11. The computer controls the areas of the photoresist that are exposed to the electron beam through manipulation of beam blankers and the sample table to achieve the specified pattern. The pattern created was based on a single fractal star with an intricate perimeter and several points of strain to maximize the possible effects of the gold particles on GaAs. An array of 20 stars by 20 stars was repeated 100 times, 10 times in the x-direction and 10 times in the y-direction, onto the

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16 wafer. The distance between stars is 100nm in this array. The pattern is shown on a smaller scale in Figure 12. Sampl e a) b) c) c) Figure 12. The development of the pattern is shown in smaller scale. a) This is the original star chosen from a menu in the Design CAD program. b) The program is commanded to create an array of these stars, 20 stars in the x-direction and 20 stars in the y-direction; shown is 2 stars in the x-direction and 2 stars in the y-direction. c) The program is commanded to repeat this array to create the final pattern, 10 arrays in the x-direction and 10 arrays in the y-direction; shown is 2 arrays in the x-direction and 2 arrays in the y-direction. Drawing not to scale of actual pattern. This takes approximately two hours to complete. The areas exposed to the electron beam must now be removed. The PMMA in the areas that are exposed to the electron beam breaks down and can be easily removed once developed. The areas not exposed to electron beam during patterning are not removed in the developing process. To remove the exposed areas, the wafer is submerged in a 1 to 3 ratio of MIBK to isopropyl alcohol developing solution for 70 seconds. Upon removal from the developing solution, the wafer is rinsed in deionized water and dried by helium gas to prevent contamination from particulates in the developing solution or deionized water. What is left is a layer of resist

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17 with an array of holes, exposing the GaAs in the shape of fractal stars. Field emission microscope images showed that the lithography was successful in creating an array of fractal stars in the resist. It is important to be aware of the potential for overexposure or underexposure with electron-beam lithography as both situations influence the final pattern. If overexposed, the features become less defined around the edges. Underexposure results in incomplete features or possibly no features at all because the resist cannot be removed when developed. In both cases the dosage can be adjusted to alleviate the problem; decreased if overexposed, increased if underexposed. The typical appropriate dose for these patterns was around 190,000 C/cm 2 Gold is then deposited onto the wafer filling in the areas where the resist was removed to form gold stars. This was done using a metal evaporator to achieve a uniform layer thickness (Figure 13). The gold is heated by a current until it begins to evaporate and deposit onto the wafer held above. A layer thickness of 100 was deposited at a rate of 1/s at 8 -6 Torr. To remove the remaining resist, the wafer is soaked patterned side up, in an acetone bath for 30 minutes or until the PMMA resist has lifted off. It is then rinsed with isopropanol to prevent contamination from particulates in the acetone. Left behind is an array of gold fractal stars approximately 100 thick with 100m between each star on the GaAs wafer substrate. The array of gold stars on GaAs was observed with an optical microscope (Figure 14). During gold deposition, there is the potential for sample contamination. The contamination most likely comes from the other materials that have been evaporated in the chamber, deposited on the chamberwalls, and either flaked or re-evaporated off the walls onto the sample. To reduce this type of contamination, it may be desirable to do a

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18 blank run in which nothing or something that will be non-reactive with the sample is heated in the chamber. Another way to reduce contamination would be to run the evaporator at the lowest pressure feasible within time constraints and instrument capability. Figure 13. Metal evaporator with electron beam heating source. The wafer is clamped onto the wafer holder. A shutter blocks the wafer from the metal source until ready for metal deposition. The electron beam heats the metal source such that the metal begins to evaporate. The shutter is then opened allowing the evaporated metal to redeposit onto the wafer. Figure 14. Optical microscope image of the gold star array on GaAs wafer. Each star is approximately 10 microns tip to tip with 100 microns between each star.

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19 Lastly, the sample is etched in the Plasmatherm model 770 Electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) reactive ion etcher (RIE). Initially the reactor conditions are set according to a known GaAs etch recipe for the Plasmatherm 770 using Cl 2 gas and Ar gas as follows: Chamber Pressure: 2 mTorr Heat Exchanger Temperature: 20C Cl 2 Flow: 10 sccm Ar Flow: 20 sccm Microwave Power: 900 Watts RF Substrate Power: 30 Watts Etch Rate: ~3000 /min It was found that the above recipe was too harsh for the samples used, removing the gold entirely from the substrate surface. Since the interface between the GaAs substrate and gold is of critical interest, the recipe had to be adjusted. Conditions were then set to encourage plasma etching while minimizing the potential for excessive damage to the sample as had occurred with the initial recipe. Several new recipes were tested to ensure that the sample was being etched. Those recipes are listed below for each sample in Table 2. Table 2. Etch recipes for each sample Sample # Parameters 2 3 5 Original Recipe Pressure (mTorr) 10 5 5 2 Temperature (C) 25 25 25 25 Cl 2 Flow (sccm) 10 10 10 10 Ar Flow (sccm) 5 5 5 20 Microwave Power (W) 100 100 100 900 RF Power (W) 20 20 20 30 Time (seconds) 90 60 90 90 Note: Samples 1 and 6 were not etched.

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20 The new parameters were selected based on the trends shown previously in Table 1 to create an environment that would etch the sample but not so much as to eliminate the surface features. Increasing the pressure and decreasing both the microwave and RF power sources decrease the energy and speed of reactants to reduce the amount of physical sputtering. The Argon flow was also decreased to a rate below that of the chlorine which was held constant. Argon is an inert gas introduced into the system to increase the amount of sputtering for more anisotropic etching. It is also introduced into the system to assist in etching by encouraging less volatile species to leave the sample surface. The original etch recipe, when compared to the new recipes, appears to be more focused on anisotropic etching and vertical sidewalls for high feature resolution as would be expected from a recipe used in industry. All of the new recipes etch the samples without etching away the gold stars, as shown in AFM analysis, and are more suitable for the purpose of this research. 2.2 Analysis Techniques Several techniques were applied for the analysis of the prepared samples including scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The techniques selected are useful for imaging the samples, examining the topography, and element detection. Scanning electron microscopy was done using a JEOL JSM-6335F. Secondary electron images were taken to show the topography of the sample especially the gold stars. Backscatter electron images are desired to show the composition of the sample. Though this imaging does not specify which elements are present, it does show the distribution of elements of the sample through differences in brightness. Higher atomic number elements appear brighter than

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21 lower atomic number elements. Because gold has a higher atomic number than gallium and arsenide, the gold stars should appear brighter than the rest of the sample. Energy dispersive spectroscopy is also done using the JEOL JSM-6335F. This technique is useful for identifying the elements that are present. The data is displayed as a spectrum with peaks at energies characteristic for the element detected. For example, if gold is detected in a sample, a peak at 2.2keV will be observed in the spectrum. Atomic force microscopy was done using a Digital Instruments Nanoscope III SPM to obtain information about the surface of the sample. It is useful for surface imaging and profiling. A tip mounted on a cantilever is applied to the sample. By detecting the bending of the cantilever, the atomic force microscope is able to image the topography of a sample. For example, the roughness can be compared between the etched and unetched samples to determine if etching did occur. Any other significant changes in the surface or of feature dimensions would be revealed through atomic force microscopy. If such changes are observed, this could be an indication that gold has an effect on the etching of GaAs. Atomic force microscopy will be used to help determine if the sample surface has been altered or if it has remained the same.

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CHAPTER 3 RESULTS 3.1 Atomic Force Microscopy 3.1.1 Sample 1 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Sample 1 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is representative of Samples 2 and 3 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The average height is 12.55nm. Figure 15a shows an AFM image of Sample 1 unetched. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scans was taken. In Figure 15b is the plot of the height from that line scan. a) Figure 15. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 1 unetched. a) This is an AFM image of sample 1 unetched. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height as the AFM tip scans the line drawn in on the AFM image in Figure 15a of sample 1 unetched. Note the relative smoothness of the scanned surface. 22

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23 b) Sample 1 Unetched-20246810121401234micronsnm 5 Figure 15. Continued 3.1.2 Sample 2 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 2 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at 10mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The average height is 11.65nm. Figure 16a includes an AFM image of sample 2 etched. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in Figure 16b is the plot of the height from that line scan. 3.1.3 Sample 3 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 3 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 60 seconds at 5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Two stars were analyzed on sample 3, 3A and 3B. Results for 3A follow; results for 3B are located in Appendix A. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The average height is 11.48nm. Figure 17a is an AFM image of star 3A from etched sample 3. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in Figure 17b is the plot of the height from that line scan.

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24 a) b) Sample 2 Etched-2024681012141618012345micronsnm Figure 16. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. a) This is an AFM image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM image in Figure 16a of sample 2 etched. Note the roughness of the surface, particularly that of the gold star which appears more rough than the gallium arsenide surface.

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25 a) b) Sample 3 Etched-2024681012141618012345micronsnm Figure 17. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. a) This is an AFM image of star A on the etched sample 3. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM image in Figure 17a of star 3A on etched sample 3. Note the roughness of the sample surface. 3.1.4 Sample 6 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Sample 6 is unetched gallium arsenide with gold stars. It is representative of sample 5 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. It is important to note that the shape of the stars on samples 5 and 6 are different from that of samples 1, 2, and 3 due to underexposure during the electron-beam lithography process. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height.

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26 The average height is 12.45nm. Figure 18a includes an AFM image of sample 6 unetched. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in Figure 18b is the plot of the height from that line scan. a) b) Sample 6 Unetched-20246810121416012345micronsnm Figure 18. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 6 unetched. a) This is an AFM image of sample 6 unetched. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn in on the AFM image in Figure 18a of sample 6 unetched. Note the relative smoothness of the scanned surface. 3.1.5 Sample 5 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 5 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at 5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. Two stars on etched sample 5 were analyzed, 5A and

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27 5B. Results for 5A follow; results for 5B are located in Appendix A. Line scans were taken through twenty points of the edge of the star to obtain an average star height. The average height is 12.20nm. Figure 19a shows an AFM image of star A on the etched sample 5. There is a line drawn in where one of the twenty line scan were taken. Shown in Figure 19b is the plot of the height from that line scan. a) b) Sample 5 Etched-20246810121416012345micronsnm Figure 19. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. a) This is an AFM image of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM image in Figure 19a of star A on etched sample 5.

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28 Table 3. Average height and standard deviation for Samples 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 Sample 1 2A 2B 3A 3B 6 5A 5B Average Height (nm) 12.55 11.65 11.50 12.00 10.95 12.45 12.20 13.30 Standard Deviation 1.00 2.01 2.04 1.75 2.26 1.64 2.50 1.13 3.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy 3.2.1 Sample 1 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Sample 1 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is representative of samples 2 and 3 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. Figure 20. Secondary electron image of sample 1 unetched showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.

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29 Figure 21. Backscatter electron image of sample 1 unetched. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate. Figure 22. Secondary electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on the particle on the tip of the star. Point 6 is on a surface dot.

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30 Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums for both points 1 and 2 on sample 1 were similar and showed gold peaks indicating the presence of gold. Figure 23 is the spectrum for point 1. Note the gold peak at approximately 2.2keV. Points 3 and 4 are located off of the star. Both spectrums showed peaks for gallium and arsenic but no peak for gold. Figure 24 is the spectrum for point 3. The spectrum for point 2 and point 4 are located in Appendix B. Spectrums for point 5 and point 6 are shown in Figure 25 and Figure 26. Figure 27 is the spectrum from a line scan of sample 1 unetched. Figure 23. EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of a star on sample 1 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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31 Figure 24. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 25. EDS spectrum for point 5 on the particle on the tip of the star of sample 1 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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32 Figure 26. EDS spectrum for point 6 on a dark dot on the substrate of sample 1 unetched. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 27. EDS gold line scan spectrum on sample 1 unetched.

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33 3.2.2 Sample 2 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Particles Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 2 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at 10mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron image, backscatter electron image, energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on the star of etched sample 2 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown. Points 3 and 4 on the substrate of etched sample 2 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix B. Figure 28. Secondary electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing the surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.

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34 Figure 29. Backscatter electron image of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate. Figure 30. Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.

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35 Figure 31. EDS spectrum for point 1 on the center of the star of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. Figure 32. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.

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36 Figure 33. EDS line scan spectrum for gold for sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drops down when off of the star. This indicates that gold is on the star but not on the substrate. 3.2.3 Sample 3 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Particles Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 3 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 60 seconds at 5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron image, backscatter electron image, an energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on the star of etched sample 3 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown. Points 3 and 4 on the substrate of etched sample 3 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix B.

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37 Figure 34. Secondary electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing the surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide. Also present in this image is a particle on the tip of the star. Figure 35. Backscatter electron image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two predominant compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.

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38 Figure 36. Backscatter electron image with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on the dark area on the tip of the star. Figure 37. EDS spectrum for point 1 on the star of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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39 Figure 38. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 39. EDS spectrum for point 5 on the dark area on the tip of the star in sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and carbon peaks are present.

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40 Figure 40. EDS line scan spectrum for gold on sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. 3.2.4 Sample 6 Unetched Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Sample 6 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that has not been etched. It is representative of Sample 5 prior to etching and will be used as a basis for comparison. It is important to note that the shape of the stars on samples 5 and 6 are different from that of samples 1, 2, and 3 due to underexposure during the electron-beam lithography process. Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums for both points 1 and 2 on the star of sample 6 were similar and showed gold peaks indicating the presence of gold. Figure 44

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41 is the spectrum for point 1. Note the gold peak at approximately 2.2keV. Points 3 and 4 are located off of the star on the substrate. Both spectrums showed peaks for gallium and arsenic but no peak for gold. Figure 45 is the spectrum for point 3. The spectrum for point 2 and point 4 are located in Appendix B. Figure 41. Secondary electron image of sample 6 unetched showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.

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42 Figure 42. Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate. Figure 43. Backscatter electron image of sample 6 unetched with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.

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43 Figure 44. EDS spectrum for point 1 on sample 6 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. Figure 45. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. 3.2.5 Sample 5 Gallium Arsenide with Gold Stars Etched in Chlorine/Argon Plasma Sample 5 is gallium arsenide with gold stars that was etched for 90 seconds at 5mTorr in chlorine/argon plasma. The following figures include secondary electron image, backscatter electron image, an energy dispersive spectroscopy point map, and

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44 energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for those points. Points 1 and 2 on star A of sample 5 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 1 is shown. Points 3 and 4 on the substrate of sample 5 had similar spectrums, thus only the spectrum for point 3 is shown. The spectrums for points 2 and 4 are located in Appendix B. Four stars on sample 5, labeled A, B, C, and D, were analyzed. Due to similarities in the results, only results from stars A and B are presented as follows. Results for stars C and D are located in Appendix B. Figure 46. Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide. Also present are particles on the star identified as the brighter spots the image.

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45 Figure 47. Backscatter electron image of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate. Figure 48. Secondary electron image of star A on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Point 5 is on a particle on star. Point 6 is on the bright area on the tip of the star.

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46 Figure 49. EDS spectrum for point 1 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. Figure 50. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.

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47 Figure 51. EDS spectrum for point 5, a particle on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. Figure 52. EDS spectrum for point 6, a brighter area on the tip of star A on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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48 Figure 53. Secondary electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing surface features of the sample. The gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide. There also particles on the star which appear as brighter areas on the sample. Figure 54. Backscatter electron image of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.

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49 Figure 55. Secondary electron image of star B, on sample 5 etched, with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate. Points 7 and 8 are each on a particle on the star. Figure 56. EDS spectrum for point 1 at the center of star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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50 Figure 57. EDS spectrum for point 3 on the substrate near star B on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 58. EDS spectrum for point 7, star B, with gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks

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51 Figure 59. EDS spectrum for point 8 on a particle on star B, sample 5, etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.

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CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION 4.1 Atomic Force Microscopy Results Atomic force microscopy was performed on each sample to determine the surface characteristics of the samples including roughness and height differences. Comparison of the unetched samples to the etched samples showed that there was no significant difference in surface characteristics between the samples. Sample 1 was the unetched sample; it exhibited a relatively smooth surface as shown in Figure 15b (pg 22). Samples 2 and 3 were etched in chlorine/argon plasma and exhibit a rougher surface especially over the tops of the gold stars; refer to Figures 16b (pg 24) and 17b (pg 26). The average height of a star on the unetched sample 1 was found to be 12.55nm, while the average height of stars on etched sample 2 and etched sample 3 were found to be 11.58nm and 11.48nm respectively. With instrument limitations considered, the difference in height between the samples is not significant. Initially it was unusual that the height of the star on an unetched sample is higher. However, this could be due to height differences from when the gold layer was deposited. It is possible to have slight variations in layer thickness from the deposition of gold in the metal evaporator. Another reason for the height difference could be attributed to the Argon flow rate. The flow may have been too high for this situation, causing ion bombardment that physically sputtered the entire surface to reduce the height of both the gold star and the gallium arsenide substrate. In addition, the standard deviation more than doubles for the etched Samples 2 and 3, which 52

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53 makes it more difficult to determine if there were any changes. Similar results were found for Samples 5 and 6. Sample 6 was the unetched sample and had an average star height of 12.45nm. Sample 5 was etched in chlorine/argon plasma and had an average star height of 12.25nm. The edge profile of the stars was also examined to determine if there was any change after etching. Again, comparison of the unetched sample to the etched samples showed no definitive difference in edge profiles between the samples. Figure 60 shows a plot of the etched Samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed over the unetched Sample 1 line scan. There is an area where it appears that there has been a build up or deposition at the base of the star, possibly of gold chloride. There is also a loss of surface material on the gallium arsenide substrate as noted by the negative area of the curve. This is an indication that the gallium arsenide is being etched. Samples 1, 2, & 3 c) > 2mTorr Figure 60. This is a plot of the etched samples 2 and 3 line scans superimposed over the unetched sample 1 line scan. There is an area where it appears that there has been a build up or deposition at the base of the star, possibly of gold chloride. There is also a loss of surface material on the gallium arsenide substrate as noted by the negative area of the curve. -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Sample 1 nm Sample 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 microns Sample 3

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54 Sample 6 & 5-20246810121416012345micronsnm Sample 6 Sample 5 Figure 61. This is a plot of the etched sample 5 line scan superimposed over the unetched sample 6 line scan. There is a negative area where material has been removed close to the base of the gold star. Figure 61 shows a plot of the etched Sample 5 line scan superimposed over the unetched Sample 6 line scan. There is no sign of build up or deposition as was observed in Figure 60. Also in Figure 61, there is a negative area where material has been removed close to the base of the gold star. This is an indication that the gallium arsenide is being etched. Tilting the samples during AFM analysis allowed further investigation of the edge profile, specifically for possible undercutting of the gold. There appears to be no undercutting observed in the results as would be expected from a purely chemical etch mechanism. Thus, the AFM results show that the presence of gold during the etching of gallium arsenide has no visible influence using these methods. 4.2 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy Sample 1 is unetched gallium arsenide with gold stars and is used as a guideline to determine if the etched samples, samples 2 and 3, exhibited any change in surface characteristics after being etched. A gold star on unetched sample 1 is clearly visible in

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55 the secondary electron image (Figure 20, pg 28) indicating a change in topography between the star and the gallium arsenide substrate. Also seen in this image is one particle on the tip of the star, which is believed to be a contaminant. Backscatter electron imaging also suggests this particle may be a contaminant. In backscatter imaging elements with higher atomic number, such as gold, appear brighter than lower atomic elements, such as the gallium and arsenic. This is true in the backscatter image of the unetched sample 1 as shown in Figure 21 on page 29. The star is brighter than the surrounding gallium arsenide. The particle that appeared in the secondary electron image also appears in the backscatter electron image as a dark area. Since it is darker than the rest of the image, the particle is most likely a contaminant of a lighter element such as carbon. An energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum of that area was taken to identify what the particle was, Figure 25 on page 31. The spectrum taken at that point was similar to other points taken on the star where there was no particle; only peaks for gallium, arsenic, and gold were observed. Thus, it is believed that this particle is most likely a particle of gallium arsenide that was broken off the sample. Other points on the sample were analyzed to determine where the gold was. As was expected, all points taken on the star displayed a gold peak in the spectrums, Figure 23 on page 30. All points taken off of the star on the substrate displayed only gallium and arsenic peaks, no gold peak, Figure 24 on page 31. Samples 2 and 3 are etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Images from both samples are similar to the images for sample 1. The secondary electron image indicates the topography difference between the star and the substrate. The gold star is brighter than the gallium arsenide substrate in the backscatter electron image. Energy dispersive

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56 spectroscopy spectrums display gold peaks for points taken on the stars, but no gold peaks for those points taken off of the stars. Etched sample 3 exhibited a particle on its tip similar to that of unetched sample 1, Figure 34 on page 37. The spectrum from that point displayed a significant carbon peak as shown in Figure 39 on page 39. The lack of difference between unetched sample 1 and etched samples 2 and 3 indicate that the gold has had no significant or definitive influence on the etching of gallium arsenide. Samples 5 and 6, as mentioned previously, used a lower dosage when being patterned with the electron beam lithography resulting in underexposure of the resist and incomplete stars. This is evident when viewing the images of samples 5 and 6 with those of samples 1, 2, and 3. Sample 6 is unetched and is used as the basis for comparison for the etched sample 5. In the secondary electron image for sample 6 as shown in Figure 41 on page 41, the difference in topography between the star and substrate is observed. There are no unusual particles on the surface. The backscatter electron image is as expected with the gold star appearing brighter than the gallium arsenide substrate, Figure 42 on page 42. Energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums are also as expected. The spectrums for points taken on the star displayed peaks of gold, while the spectrums for points taken off of the star did not. The secondary electron images of etched sample 5, unlike the clean image of unetched sample 6, showed many particles on the star but not on the substrate, Figure 46 on page 44. In the backscatter electron image the particles were not observed, indicating that they are most likely gold as is the star. Although both star A and star B on etched sample 5 exhibit these particles, only the energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrum for star B displayed chlorine peaks for those particles, Figures 58 and 59 on pages 50 and 51.

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57 It is unclear exactly why only etched sample 5 has these chlorine particles while etched samples 2 and 3 do not even though all were exposed to similar chemistry. A possible explanation is that gold can form chlorides. However, these chlorides are more difficult to remove from the surface of the sample because of their low volatility as suggested by Efremov, Kim, and Kim. Several other stars on etched sample 5 were examined for comparison. The results for two of those stars star C and star D, are located in Appendix A-3. Star C had no particles on its surface, thus there were no chlorine peaks in the energy dispersive spectroscopy spectrums. Star D did have a few particles. However, the spectrums for star D do display chlorine peaks on the particles. As was the case for stars A and B, for stars C and D any particles that were observed in the secondary electron images are not observed in the backscatter electron image. There was no regular pattern as to where the particles were located (ie, the edges, the tips, or the center of the stars). The data was inconsistent to make any reasonable assumptions as to why there were or were not particles on the samples and why some of those particles exhibited chlorine peaks while others did not.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY Gallium arsenide is a valuable semiconductor material used in many applications including microelectronic devices, optoelectronics, and integrated circuits. The desire to continuously improve upon the current applications and generate new and innovative applications necessitates advancements in the processing techniques. One key step in the processing technique is the development of the features through plasma etching. As the feature sizes become smaller, precision in the formation of the features becomes more critical. Chlorine-based plasmas are the most commonly used to dry etch gallium arsenide wafers during device manufacturing primarily because of the volatility of the chlorides that are formed by the reaction [14]. Gold has been determined to be relatively inert during plasma etching and therefore has been used as a mask material when creating nanostructures, IC circuits, and other microelectronic devices [6,8,9]. There has been some thought that gold may be used as a catalyst to enhance the etching process. In oxidation and hydrogenation systems this has been proven true. However, does gold act as a catalyst in chlorine plasma to enhance the etching of gallium arsenide? A sample was prepared with gold stars on a gallium arsenide substrate and then etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Electron beam lithography was used to create the template for the star array. Gold was then deposited onto the sample with a metal evaporator filling the voids created during electron beam lithography to form the gold stars. The samples were then analyzed for any changes in surface characteristics after 58

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59 being etched using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive results show that the gold stars remained intact on the substrate surface. There was no consistent or significant change in the profile at the edge of the star to indicate that the gold influenced the etching of the gallium arsenide. Analysis with atomic force microscopy gave results that lead to the same conclusion. The atomic force microscopy results did show that the surface of both the gallium arsenide and the gold was etched. Unetched samples had a relatively smooth surface while the etched samples exhibited a rough surface characteristic of etching. Through this research using these conditions it was shown that gold does not influence the etching of gallium arsenide in chlorine plasma.

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APPENDIX A ADDITIONAL AFM RESULTS a) b) Sample 3 Etched, Star 3B-20246810121416012345micronsnm Figure 62. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. a) This is an AFM image of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn on the AFM sample in Figure A1a of sample 3 etched. 60

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61 a) b) Sample 5 Etched, Star 5B-20246810121416012345micronsnm Figure 63. AFM image and line scan plot of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. a) This is an AFM image of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. The line drawn on the image represents the location of a line scan. b) The plot shown represents the change in height of the sample surface as the AFM tip scans the line drawn in Figure 63a of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma.

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APPENDIX B ADDITIONAL SEM/EDS RESULTS Figure 64. EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 1 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. 62

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63 Figure 65. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 1 unetched. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 66. EDS spectrum for point 2 on the star of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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64 Figure 67. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 2 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 68. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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65 Figure 69. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 3 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 70. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a star of sample 6 unetched. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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66 Figure 71. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 6 unetched. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 72. EDS spectrum for point 2 on star A of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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67 Figure 73. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 74. EDS spectrum of point 2 on star B of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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68 Figure 75. EDS spectrum for point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 76. Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide.

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69 Figure 77. Backscatter electron image of star C on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate. Figure 78. Secondary electron image of star C on sample 5, etched, with map of EDS points. Point 1 is at the center of the star. Point 2 is at the edge of the star. Point 3 is on the substrate close to the edge of the star. Point 4 is on the substrate.

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70 Figure 79. EDS spectrum of point 1 on star C of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present. Figure 80. EDS spectrum of point 2 on star C of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, and gold peaks are present.

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71 Figure 81. EDS spectrum of point 3 on the substrate near star C of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present. Figure 82. EDS spectrum of point 4 on the substrate of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium and arsenic peaks are present.

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72 Figure 83. Secondary electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma showing surface features of the sample. There is little contrast in the image because the gold star is only 10nm thick. However, the gold star is visible on the surface of the gallium arsenide. There are also two particles on the star. Figure 84. Backscatter electron image of star D on sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Areas of different composition are identified by differences in brightness. Two compositions are observed in this image distinguishing the star from the substrate.

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73 Figure 85. Secondary electron image of star D with a map of EDS points. Point 1 is on a particle on star D. Point 2 is on a particle on the tip of star D. Figure 86. EDS spectrum for point 1 on star D of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.

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74 Figure 87. EDS spectrum for point 2 on a particle on star D of sample 5 etched in chlorine/argon plasma. Gallium, arsenic, gold, and chlorine peaks are present.

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REFERENCES [1] Gary S. May and Simon M. Sze, Fundamentals of Semiconductor Fabrication, Wiley, New York, 2004. [2] BrainyMedia, Gallium arsenide, Nov 2002, http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/g/ga/gallium_arsenide.html Nov 30, 2004. [3] D. Manos and D. Flamm (eds), Plasma Etching: An Introduction, Academic Press, Inc., Boston, 1989. [4] R.R. Moskalyk: Gallium: The backbone of the electronics industry Min. Eng. 16(10): 921-929, Oct 2003. [5] MEMS and Nanotechnology Clearinghouse, Etching processes, Nov 2004, http://www.memsnet.org/mems/beginner/etch.html Nov 30, 2004. [6] Subash Mahajan and K.S. Sree Harsha, Principles of Growth and Processing of Semiconductors, WCB/McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1999. [7] P. Werbaneth, Z. Hasan, P. Rajora, M. Rousey-Seidel, The reactive ion etching of Au on GaAs substrates in a high density plasma etch reactor, The International Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, GaAs Mantech, Inc, St. Louis, 1999. [8] R. Grisel, K.J. Weststrate, A. Gluhoi, B.E. Nieuwenhuys, Catalysis by gold nanoparticles, Gold Bulletin 35(2): 39-45, 2002. [9] D. Thompson, A golden future for catalysis, Nov 2001, http://www.chemsoc.org/chembytes/ezine/2001/thompson_nov01.htm Nov 30, 2004. [10] A.M. Efremov, Dong-Pyo Kim, and Chang-Il Kim, Etching characteristics and mechanism of Au thin films in inductively coupled Cl 2 /Ar plasma J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 21(6): 1837-1842, Nov/Dec 2003. [11] R.J. Shul and S.J. Pearton (eds), Handbook of Advanced Plasma Processing Techniques, Springer, New York, 2000. 75

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76 [12] W.C. Simpson and J.A. Yarmoff: Fundamental studies of halogen reactions with III-V semiconductor surfaces, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 47: 527-54, 1996. [13] M. Sugiyama, T. Yamaizumi, M. Nezuka, Y. Shimogaki, Y. Nakano, K. Tada, and H. Komiyama: Simple kinetic model of ECR reactive ion beam etching reactor for the optimization of GaAs etching process, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 35: 12351241, 1996. [14] W.N.G. Hitchon, Plasma Processes for Semiconductor Fabrication, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1999. [15] C.L. Henderson, Introduction to Electron Beam Lithography, http://dot.che.gatech.edu/henderson/intro%20to%20e-beam%20lithography2.htm Nov 30, 2004.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Erika Courtney Lent was born and raised in Cooper City, Florida. She lived with her parents Ken and Terry Lent and younger brothers Judd and Ross. After graduating from Cooper City High School in 1998, Erika enrolled as a freshman at the University of Florida to pursue her interest in engineering. Throughout college, she enjoyed involvement in the Society of Women Engineers, American Ceramics Society, and Alpha Xi Delta sorority. In August 2002, Erika graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering degree from the University of Florida. Shortly thereafter, she was accepted into the graduate program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She will graduate with a Master of Science degree in May 2005. 77