Compound Etching



AlGaAs is usually accomplished with a BCl3/Cl2 chemistry using a non-selective processes at a very low pressure. Processes have been developed to etch GaAs/AlGaAs sandwich structures at rates over 2500 Å /min


20 micron GaAs/AlGaAs mesa with photoresist removed. The bottom 10 microns is GaAs only. Argon, Cl2, RIE/ICP turbo pump, 1700 Å/min, Selectivity (GaAs:PR = 2.1:1), 4:1 selectivity to PR, +/- 4% uniformity.

GaAs AlGaAs 5

GaAs AlGaAs 5

GaAs AlGaAs 6

GaAs AlGaAs 6

GaAs AlGaAs 9

GaAs AlGaAs 9


Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)

This Chlorine based process will etch at rates over 5000 Å /min, whist still producing smooth sidewalls with no undercut.


Gallium Nitride (GaN)

GaN structures are found in a variety of photonic devices including photo detector, lasers, and LED’s. Typically these structures are patterned with a thick coat of photoresist, or a thin metal mask, and the etched surface and sidewalls should be extremely smooth. Processes have been developed with etch rates of over 3,500 Å /min.

sems Indium Gallium

Indium Gallium

Indium Gallium Arsenide Phosphide with SiO2 hard mask. Conditions include a Cl2/BCl3 chemistry with a temp of 100°C. (Courtesy of Applied Opto.)


Indium Phosphide (InP)

Etching of InP is usually accomplished with Chorine based chemistries, or Methane/Hydrogen. Rates can be at over 2000 Å /min for chlorine based chemistries. The CH4/H2 process is slow, but it has a very high selectivity to silicon nitride, silicon oxide and photoresist.


InP Lens Etch

Cl2/BCl3, HBr/BCl3 or H2/CH4 chemistries can be used to create a lens in InP with a process developed to produce a 1:1 selectively to PR.

Application Notes:

  1. Gallium Arsenide/Aluminum Gallium Arsenide Heterostructures Etch
    Trion Tool: Minilock-Phantom RIE
  2. Gallium Nitride and Other III-Nitrides Etch
    Trion Tool: Minilock-Phantom RIE
  3. Indium Phosphide Etch
    Trion Tool: Minilock-Phantom RIE
  4. Process Data for Plasma Etching of Common III-V Materials (GaAs/AlGaAs, InP and GaN)
    Trion Tool: Minilock-Phantom RIE
  5. Selective Reactive Ion Etching of P-Doped Polysilicon Using a Cl2/HBr Mixture
    Application: Compound Semiconductor, MEMS
    Trion Tool: Minilock-Phantom RIE

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