System For The Photoelectrochemical Etching Of Silicon In An Anhydrous Environment
Propst, Eric K.
Kohl, Paul A.
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The photoelectrochemical oxidation and dissolution of silicon (Si) is performed in the absence of water and oxygen. Etch rates and photocurrents in an anhydrous HF-acetonitrile (MeCN) solution are directly proportional to light intensity up to at least 600 mW/cm2, producing a spatially selective etch rate of greater than 4 ?m/min. Four electron transfer reactions per silicon molecule occur with a quantum yield greater than 3.3 due to electron injection from high energy reaction intermediates. Further, the electrochemical oxidation of p-doped silicon in HF-MeCN results in the formation of porous silicon which electroluminescence in an aqueous solution. In an aprotic electrolyte, where tetrabutylammonium tetrafluoroborate (TBAFB) is used as both the supporting electrolyte and source of fluoride in MeCN, photo-induced etching of n-doped silicon occurs at quantum efficiency of 1.9. This indicates that the oxidation and dissolution mechanism of Si in MeCN can occur without protons.
- Georgia Tech Patents