Oxygen-based digital etching of AlGaN/GaN structures with AlN as etch-stop layers

Jingyi Wu, Siqi Lei, Wei-Chih Cheng, Robert Sokolovskij, Qing Wang, Guangrui Maggie Xia, Hongyu Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


O2 plasma-based digital etching of Al0.25Ga0.75N with a 0.8 nm AlN spacer on GaN was investigated using an inductively coupled plasma etcher. Silicon oxide layer was used as the hard mask. At 40 W RF bias power and 40 sccm oxygen flow, the etch depth of Al0.25Ga0.75N was 5.7 nm per cycle. The 0.8 nm AlN spacer layer acted as an etch-stop layer in three cycles. The surface roughness improved from 0.66 to 0.33 nm after the three and seven digital etch cycles. Compared to the dry etch only approach, this technique smoothed the surface instead of causing surface roughening. Compared to the selective thermal oxidation with a wet etch approach, this method is less demanding on the epitaxial growth and saves the oxidation process. It was shown to be effective in precisely controlling the AlGaN etch depth required for recessed-AlGaN HEMTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060401
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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