Physical deposition by evaporation is a convenient and cost effective method for generating thin layers of material. In this work, we utilise an electron-beam evaporation system retrofitted with a rotating shutter to control and reduce the deposition rate of materials. Under normal conditions, the evaporator is able to achieve a typical deposition rate of 1 A/s. In order to reduce the deposition rate, a rotating shutter was designed and retrofitted to the evaporator. The rotating shutter consists of a metal plate with a slit opening of 6° and 36°. When rotated during evaporation, a reduction in deposition rate of 1/60 and 1/10 onto a sample is expected. We can control the deposition to achieve a rate of 1 A/min. By using this modified system, we deposited Si and SiO<sub>2</sub> onto Si substrates. In situ deposition is monitored using a quartz thickness monitor. After evaporation, film thickness is measured using AFM and verified with spectroscopic ellipsometer measurement. Using this method, we are able to reach a deposited film thickness of 3 nm. This work is expected to contribute significantly towards the fabrication of low dimensional silicon devices.
Development of silicon-based passive optical components such as reflectors, waveguides, and beam splitters coupled with active elements such as light emitters and detectors enable miniaturisation of a low-cost system-on-a-chip sensing device. In this work, we investigate methods to fabricate passive silicon elements on a chip. We use a combination of wet and dry etching techniques to realise angled and vertical sidewalls normal to the surface of a silicon wafer, respectively. For wet etching, we used Triton-X, a surfactant, added to an alkaline solution TMAH as the etchant. This allows perfect 45° inclined sidewalls to be fabricated. Dry etching using DRIE is to be performed on the reverse-side of the same wafer to realize through-hole vias with straight vertical sidewalls. A final Au metal layer can then be coated onto the sidewalls to realize reflective surfaces. Photolithography masks used in the wet and dry etch processes were designed and fabricated. By careful alignment of these masks using a mask aligner, we can fabricate a combination of inclined and vertical sidewalls to build optical reflectors and beam splitters with complex geometries. When integrated with active Si-optical devices, a fully integrated micro-optical system-on-a-chip can be realised.