Damage-Free Planarization of 4H-SiC (0001) by Catalyst-Referred Etching
We report the damage-free planarization of 4H-SiC (0001) wafers using a new planarization technique we named CAtalyst-Referred Etching (CARE). The CARE setup equipped with a polishing pad made of a catalyst is almost the same as a lapping setup. Since the catalyst generates reactive species that activate only when they are next to the catalyst surface, SiC can be chemically removed in contact with the catalyst surface with a pressure noticeably lower than that in a conventional polishing process. The processed surfaces were observed by optical interferometry and AFM. These observations presented a marked reduction in surface roughness. A step-terrace structure was observed with a step height of approximately 3み, corresponding to one-bilayer thickness of Si and C, in the AFM images. To estimate the crystallographic properties of the CARE-processed surface, the surfaces were observed by cross-sectional TEM. The TEM images showed that a more crystallographically well-ordered surface was realized in comparison with the conventional CMP-processed surface.
N. Wright, C.M. Johnson, K. Vassilevski, I. Nikitina and A. Horsfall
H. Hara et al., "Damage-Free Planarization of 4H-SiC (0001) by Catalyst-Referred Etching", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 556-557, pp. 749-751, 2007