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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2020

Influence of the reactor environment on the selective area thermal etching of GaN nanohole arrays

Abstract

Selective area thermal etching (SATE) of gallium nitride is a simple subtractive process for creating novel device architectures and improving the structural and optical quality of III-nitridebased devices. In contrast to plasma etching, it allows, for example, the creation of enclosed features with extremely high aspect ratios without introducing ion-related etching damage. We report how SATE can create uniform and organized GaN nanohole arrays from c-plane and (11-22) semi-polar GaN in a conventional MOVPE reactor. The morphology, etching anisotropy and etch depth of the nanoholes were investigated by scanning electron microscopy for a broad range of etching parameters, including the temperature, the pressure, the NH 3 flow rate and the carrier gas mixture. The supply of NH 3 during SATE plays a crucial role in obtaining a highly anisotropic thermal etching process with the formation of hexagonal non-polar-faceted nanoholes. Changing other parameters affects the formation, or not, of non-polar sidewalls, the uniformity of the nanohole diameter, and the etch rate, which reaches 6 µm per hour. Finally, the paper discusses the SATE mechanism within a MOVPE environment, which can be applied to other mask configurations, such as dots, rings or lines, along with other crystallographic orientations.
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Dates and versions

hal-03024881 , version 1 (26-11-2020)

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Pierre-Marie Coulon, Peng Feng, Benjamin Damilano, Stephane Vezian, Tao Wang, et al.. Influence of the reactor environment on the selective area thermal etching of GaN nanohole arrays. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-62539-1⟩. ⟨hal-03024881⟩
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