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Proceedings Paper

Secret of formulating a selective etching or cleaning solution for boron nitride (BN) thin film
Author(s): Wing Cheong Hui
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Paper Abstract

Boron nitride thin film has a very unique characteristic of extremely high chemical inertness. Thus, it is a better hard mask than silicon nitride for aggressive etching solutions, such as the isotropic HF/HNO3/CH3COOH (or HNA) etchant for silicon. However, because of its high chemical inertness, it is also difficult to remove it. Plasma etching with Freon gases can etch the boron nitride film, but it is unselective to silicon, silicon dioxide or silicon nitride. Cleaning up the boron nitride film with plasma etching will usually leave a damaged or foggy surface. A special wet chemical solution has been developed for etching or cleaning boron nitride film selectively. It can etch boron nitride, but not the coatings or substrates of silicon, silicon nitride and silicon dioxide. It is a very strong oxidizing agent consisting of concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), but different from the common Piranha Etch. It may be even more interesting to understand the logic or secret behind of how to formulate a new selective etching solution. Various chemical and chemical engineering aspects were considered carefully in our development process. These included creating the right electrochemical potential for the etchant, ensuring large differences in chemical kinetics to make the reactions selective, providing proper mass transfer for removing the by products, etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 April 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5276, Device and Process Technologies for MEMS, Microelectronics, and Photonics III, (2 April 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.522936
Show Author Affiliations
Wing Cheong Hui, Institute of Microelectronics (Singapore)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5276:
Device and Process Technologies for MEMS, Microelectronics, and Photonics III
Jung-Chih Chiao; Alex J. Hariz; David N. Jamieson; Giacinta Parish; Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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