Enhancement of Semi-Polar Gallium Nitride Surface Morphology in Photo-Electrochemical Undercut Etching

Tech ID: 30145 / UC Case 2019-177-0

Brief Description

An etching technique that utilizes photo-generated holes to permit the electrochemical etching of a material, such as III-nitride, by achieving smooth etched n-type semipolar GaN surfaces.

Background

Conventional polishing, thinning, and dry etching are options for removing native substrate in III-N material systems. However, advancements in the fabrication of optoelectronic devices demand new processing techniques to enable the subsequent realisation of new device designs. Obtaining smooth morphology after substrate removal of n-type semipolar GaN surfaces is challenging, and so, alternative ways to remove the substrate are needed to achieve optimal results.

Description

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed an etching technique that utilizes photo-generated holes to permit the electrochemical etching of a material, such as III-nitride, by achieving smooth etched n-type semipolar GaN surfaces. Depending on the conditions and materials used, this technique has the ability to produce a variety of etch morphologies, such as lateral undercut structures for sophisticated modern optoelectronic device applications. Further, the technique allows one to control roughness in order to achieve varying levels of rough and smooth surfaces.

Advantages

  • Able to control roughness
  • Thick sacrificial layer enables precise control of lateral (PEC) undercut etching
  • Lowered etching temperature reduces the root-mean-square roughness of n-type surface

Applications

  • Bandgap-selective lateral etching
  • Smoothing the rough growth layers
  • Edge emitting lasers
  • Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
  • Optoelectronic devices

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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Other Information

Keywords

LED, light-emitting diode, laser diode, photoelectrochemical etching, surface emitting lasers, optoelectronic devices, lateral etching, indfeat, indled

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