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Proceedings Paper

Ion beam nanosmoothing of sapphire and silicon carbide surfaces
Author(s): David B. Fenner; Vincent DiFilippo; Johnathan Bennett; Thomas Tetreault; James K. Hirvonen; Leonard C. Feldman
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Paper Abstract

The surfaces of single-crystal wafers of sapphire and silicon carbide with microelectronic-grade high polish were exposed to a gas-cluster ion beam (GCIB) and significant reductions in roughness were observed. Atomic-force microscopy revealed that the typical initial surfaces consisted of a fine but small random roughness together with relatively large and sharp asperities. The latter were removed efficiently and GCIB smoothing process improvements are reported. The SiC wafers also have a high density of shallow scratch marks and these too were removed, with the average roughness Ra falling below 4 angstrom after the best process. Analysis of the SiC by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy in channeling mode revealed that when the GCIB process was adjusted so that asperities and scratch marks were removed, there was no increase in near- and at-surface damage. In particular, no lattice damage was observed of the sort typically caused by ion implantation prior to annealing. Significantly, it was found that oxygen gas cluster ion beams provided superior results with SiC as compared with argon GCIB. Surface smoothing mechanisms are proposed to explain these results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 December 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4468, Engineering Thin Films with Ion Beams, Nanoscale Diagnostics, and Molecular Manufacturing, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.452556
Show Author Affiliations
David B. Fenner, Epion Corp. (United States)
Vincent DiFilippo, Tufts Univ./Medford (United States)
Johnathan Bennett, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Thomas Tetreault, Epion Corp. (United States)
James K. Hirvonen, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Leonard C. Feldman, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4468:
Engineering Thin Films with Ion Beams, Nanoscale Diagnostics, and Molecular Manufacturing
Emile J. Knystautas; Wiley P. Kirk; Valerie Browning, Editor(s)

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