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An investigation of the CrO3-H2O-HF system shows that preferential etching of crystal defects on (100) silicon surfaces is very sensitive to the concentration ratio of CrO3 and HF. The results of this investigation lead to development of an improved etch. This etch consists of one part of volume of 1.5 molal CrO3 (150 g/l H2O) and one part of 49% HF. This newly developed etch can delineate a wide variety of crystal defects with sharp definition, high resolution and smooth background. It can be applied to silicon surfaces of different orientations, such as (100), (111) as well as (110) surfaces. It has a reasonable etch rate of 1–2um/min. In most cases, the etch time required is about 1–3 min., and no ultrasonic or manual agitation is necessary.
Preferential Etch, Defect Delineation, Silicon Defects
East Fishkill Lab., IBM, Hopewell Junction, New York