Etching Mechanism Behind the High-Speed Etching of Silicon in NH<sub>2</sub>OH-added Alkaline Solutions

Swarnalatha, Veerla and Vismaya, Kanneri Thettiyappath and Pal, Prem and et al, . (2020) Etching Mechanism Behind the High-Speed Etching of Silicon in NH<sub>2</sub>OH-added Alkaline Solutions. IEEJ Transactions on Sensors and Micromachines, 140 (1). pp. 24-30. ISSN 1341-8939

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Anisotropic wet bulk micromachining is one of the main techniques used in microelectromechanical systems to fabricate microstructures that have applications in sensors and actuators. Potassium-hydroxide-based and tetramethylammonium-hydroxide-based solutions are the most commonly used wet anisotropic etchants. However, the etch rate attainable using these conventional etchants is limited and, hence, affects industrial productivity. Alkaline solutions with some additives show improved etching characteristics. The addition of NH2OH to pure alkaline etchant solutions increases etch rate significantly. The etch depth attained per unit time is more in these modified solutions compared with pure alkaline solutions. This can be exploited to make microstructures with low fabrication time and high productivity. In this work, a simple etching mechanism is proposed to explain silicon wet anisotropic etching in NH2OH-added alkaline solutions. The mechanism is based on a two-step etching process: (i) oxidation and (ii) removal of Si atoms by water molecules. The initial oxidation step has two possible pathways: chemical and electrochemical oxidation. In the presence of alkaline solutions, NH2OH gives NH2O− ions and H2O molecules. Thus, NH2O− ions, OH− ions, and H2O molecules are the reactive species in the modified etchant solution. The aim of this work is to elucidate the detailed reaction mechanism in NH2OH-added alkaline solution and highlight the reason behind the enhanced etch rate. © 2020 The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Pandey, Ashok KumarUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: KOH, Silicon, TMAH, Wet anisotropic etching, Wet bulk micromachining, Indexed in Scopus
Subjects: Physics
Divisions: Department of Physics
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 08:27
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2020 08:27
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