Focused ION Beam Etching of GaN


We have investigated the use of focused ion beam (FIB) etching for the fabrication of GaN-based devices. Although work has shown that conventional reactive ion etching (RME) is in most cases appropriate for the GaN device fabrication, the direct write facility of FIB etching - a well-established technique for optical mask repair and for IC failure analysis and repair - without the requirement for depositing an etch mask is invaluable. A gallium ion beam of about 20nm diameter was used to sputter GaN material. The etching rate depends linearly on the ion dose per area with a slope of 3.5 × 10-4 μm3/pC. At a current of 3nA, for example, this corresponds to an etch rate of 1.05μm3/s. Good etching qualities have been achieved with a side wall roughness significantly below 0.1μm. Changes in the roughness of the etched surface plane stay below 8nm.

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Correspondence to C. Flierl.

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Flierl, C., White, I.H., Kuball, M. et al. Focused ION Beam Etching of GaN. MRS Online Proceedings Library 537, 657 (1998).

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