31 May 2005 A novel surface preparation methodology for epi-ready antimonide based III-V substrates
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Abstract
Surfaces of GaSb substrates currently available from various commercial vendors are nowhere close to device grade GaAs, Si or InP wafer surfaces. Hence epitaxial growth and device fabrication on as-received commercial substrates poses significant difficulties amongst antimonide based researchers. Antimonide based materials are known to have poor surface oxide quality and not so well understood chemical reactions with various chemicals used to remove the oxides prior to growth. There are no existing reports on the detailed recipe for the preparation of "atomically flat and clean" surfaces that works on wafers obtained from various commercial vendors. This paper presents a detailed recipe for obtaining atomically flat and clean GaSb surfaces, irrespective of the initial polishing source. The same recipe (with slight modification) has been found to be successful with other III-V and II-VI compounds. The novel surface preparation process developed in our laboratory includes, chemical-mechanical polishing using an agglomerate-free sub-micron alumina slurry on a soft pad such as velvet, surface cleaning using dilute ammonium or potassium hydroxide-H2O solution and surfactant or glycerol, surface degreasing using organic solvents, oxide desorption using HCl-H2O and HF-H2O mixtures, mild chemical etching using ammonium sulfide and a final rinse in high purity deionized (DI) water and methanol. Using this recipe, we have been able to achieve surfaces with atomic flatness (RMS surface roughness close to 0.5 nm over a 10 x 10 mm2) and extremely clean surfaces, irrespective of the initial contamination or the sources of the wafers. Results of wafer surfaces before and after polishing using our recipe will be presented.
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P. S. Dutta, G. Rajagopalan, H. J. Kim, A. Kumar, "A novel surface preparation methodology for epi-ready antimonide based III-V substrates", Proc. SPIE 5783, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXI, (31 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.605340; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.605340
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