Damage-Free Planarization of 2-Inch 4H-SiC Wafer Using Pt Catalyst Plate and HF Solution
We report a damage-free and efficient planarization process for silicon carbide (SiC) using platinum as a catalyst in hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution. In previous studies, 4H-SiC (0001) on-axis wafers were planarized by this process and an extremely flat surface was obtained. However, electronic device substrates require off-axis wafers. In the present study, 4H-SiC (0001) 8° off-axis Si-face wafers were planarized using a Pt catalyst plate and HF solution. In the first trial using these wafers, the surface roughness worsened and a diagonal pattern was observed by phase-shift interference microscopy. The pattern seemed to have been formed when the Pt plate morphology was transcribed onto the wafer. The removal rate of the 8° off-axis Si-face wafer is much greater than that of the on-axis Si-face wafer. Thus, we concluded that the use of a smoother catalyst plate would be necessary to obtain a smooth 8° off-axis Si-face wafer surface. Improving the Pt plate morphology by hand lapping also improved the surface roughness of the processed wafer as compared with the preprocessed surface. The maximum height of the surface irregularity (peak-to-valley, P-V) and root-mean-square roughness were improved to 0.513 nm and 0.044 nm, respectively, as determined by atomic force microscopy (2×2 μm2).
Akira Suzuki, Hajime Okumura, Prof. Tsunenobu Kimoto, Takashi Fuyuki, Kenji Fukuda and Dr. Shin-ichi Nishizawa
T. Okamoto et al., "Damage-Free Planarization of 2-Inch 4H-SiC Wafer Using Pt Catalyst Plate and HF Solution ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 600-603, pp. 835-838, 2009