Exposing a Si(100) surface to a pulsed beam of neutral Cl2 with high translational energy results in etching at a rate faster than that seen with chlorine at thermal energies. The Cl2 beam used in these experiments is produced by laser vaporization of cryogenic films. It has a broad energy distribution which can be varied by changing laser energy and film thickness. Beams with mean energies as low as 0.4 eV result in etching >10 times faster than etching by thermal Cl2. When Cl2 beams are used which have considerable flux above 3 eV, the etching rate increases by a further factor of 3.6 ± 0.6. This rate increase, which occurs at energies just above the Si-Si bond energy, suggests that kinetic energy can be efficiently utilized to break surface bonds.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge support of this work by the U. S. Army Research office, Physics Division. Additional equipment was provided by the National Science Foundation. G. C. Weaver thanks the Department of Defense for a graduate fellowship
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Campos, F.X., Weaver, G.C., Waltman, C.J. et al. Activation of the Si(100)/Cl2 Etching Reaction at High Cl2 Translational Energies. MRS Online Proceedings Library 236, 177–182 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-236-177