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Effects of O2 addition to SiCl4/SiF4 and the thickness of the capping layer on gate recess etching of GaAs‐pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistors

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4 Author(s)
Murad, S.K. ; Nanoelectronics Research Centre, Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12, 8 QQ, Scotland, United Kingdom ; Cameron, N.I. ; Beaumont, S.P. ; Wilkinson, C.D.W.

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The effects of the addition of a small amount of O2 to SiCl4/SiF4 plasma and the thickness of the GaAs capping layer on gate recess etching of GaAs pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (p‐HEMT) devices have been studied. During gate recessing of GaAs/AlGaAs p‐HEMTs using a selective reactive ion etching (RIE) process in SiCl4/SiF4 plasma [see S. K. Murad, N. I. Cameron, P. D. Wang, S. P. Beaumont, and C. D. W. Wilkinson, Microelectron. Eng. 27, 439 (1995)], it was found that the profile of the gate changes dramatically from undercut to nearly vertical with no lateral etching when the thickness of the capping layer was reduced below 40 nm. This vertical profile puts the gate metal too close to the recess edges in devices with a ≤30 nm capping layer. The addition of a very small amount of O2 to SiCl4/SiF4 plasma was seen to increase GaAs etch rates remarkably, while maintaining the high selectivity over AlGaAs. This increase in the etch rate agrees well with optical emission spectroscopic observations which indicate that the Cl emission has increased by more than an order of magnitude for the addition of only 1.5% of O2 to SiCl4/SiF4 plasma. This selective RIE process of SiCl4/SiF4/O2 was applied to gate recess etching of GaAs/AlGaAs/InGaAs p‐HEMTs with various capping layer thicknesses. The profile of the T gates changed from nearly vertical (with no undercut or gate offset) to undercut with a lateral etch rate depending on the thickness of the capping layer. The lateral etching rate also strongly depends on the O2 flow. The p‐HEMT devices gate recessed using this process (SiCl4/SiF4/O2) exhibited an ft of 120 GHz, gm of 700 mS/mm and a gain of 9.5 dB at 94 GHz. © 1996 American Vacuum Society

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 6 )