Semiconductor surface – molecule interactions: a case study in the wet etching of InP by α-hydroxy acids


The controllable etching of InP semiconductor surfaces is desired in removing damaged layers for facilitating regrowth and obtaining good electronic properties. We have observed that organic acids (α-hydroxy acids: tartaric, lactic, citric and malic) used in conjunction with HCl to etch (100) InP result in smoother and defect free surfaces, in comparison to etches based on inorganic acids alone. The chelating action of the organic acids aids in efficiently removing In from the surface. Based on these results, it is hypothesized that a consideration of the energy levels of the semiconductor and adsorbed molecules could help in devising new semiconductor etchants.

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Correspondence to Prabhakar Bandaru.

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Bandaru, P. Semiconductor surface – molecule interactions: a case study in the wet etching of InP by α-hydroxy acids. MRS Online Proceedings Library 782, 135 (2003).

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