A room-temperature photoelectrochemical wet etching process is described that produces smoothly etched GaN surfaces using KOH solution and Hg arc lamp illumination. Atomic force microscope measurements indicate a root-mean-square etched surface roughness of 1.5 nm, which compares favorably to the unetched surface roughness of approximately 0.3 nm. Etch rates of 50nm/min were obtained using a KOH solution concentration of 0.02 M and an illumination intensity of 40mW/cm2. It is shown that the smooth etching occurs under conditions of low KOH solution concentration and high light intensities, which result in a diffusion-limited etch process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)