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Fabrication of 200 nm period blazed transmission gratings on silicon-on-insulator wafers

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3 Author(s)
Ahn, Minseung ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 ; Heilmann, Ralf K. ; Schattenburg, Mark L.

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The authors report on the fabrication of 200 nm period blazed transmission gratings on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. These critical angle transmission (CAT) gratings require 3–5 μm tall freestanding grating bars with a very high aspect ratio (≫100) and smooth sidewalls. In order to meet the challenging geometrical requirements, they modified and improved our previously reported process for the fabrication of a CAT grating prototype with 574 nm period. They have used potassium hydroxide (KOH) solutions to fabricate high aspect ratio gratings on <110> SOI wafers. The KOH etching process was improved to minimize the lateral undercut through precise grating alignment to <111> planes within ±0.05° and a room temperature etch process with 50 wt % KOH. In addition, an image-reversal technique with a high silicon content spin-on polymer was applied to increase process latitude with a high duty cycle nitride mask. A surfactant was also added to the KOH solution to promote hydrogen bubble release. With the improved process, they achieved a high etch anisotropy of above 300 on a <110> silicon wafer. They successfully fabricated 200 nm period CAT gratings with support mesh periods of 25 and 40 μm in a 9 mm2 area of 4-μm-thick silicon membranes on <110> SOI wafers.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 6 )