Photoelectrochemical Etching Of P-Type Semiconductor Heterostructures

Tech ID: 23783 / UC Case 2008-533-0

Brief Description

A novel process to achieve PEC etching of p-type semiconductors simply and efficiently.



Photoelectrochemical (PEC) wet etching is applied to a variety of semiconductors including GaAs, InP, and GaN. PEC etching GaN is of great interest due to the limited alternatives for room temperature, wet etching. This process consists of a light source and an electrochemical cell with the semiconductor being the anode and metal patterned directly onto it to act as the cathode. Typically, this etching is confined to the surface of n-type materials while electrons are confined to the surface in p-type materials. The electrons at p-type surfaces constrain etching and make PEC etching of p-type semiconductors difficult.



Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a novel process to achieve PEC etching of p-type semiconductors simply and efficiently. This method utilizes heterostructures to open up the possibility for a wide range of device fabrication processes requiring etching of p-type materials. The wet etch nature of the process provides the capability for rapid, low-damage etching compared to the traditional ion-assisted plasma etching techniques.



  • Ability to wet etch p-type materials
  • Form deep, anisotropic trenches
  • Bandgap selectivity
  • Defect selectivity


  • Semiconductors

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,053,264 11/08/2011 2008-533


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PEC, cenIEE, indssl

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