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A simple technique for the fabrication of ultra-thin silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates is presented. The technique utilizes a combination of two established SOI fabrication procedures and provides a method that eliminates the disadvantages of both. The bond-and-etch-back technique utilizing a Si/sub x/Ge/sub 1-x/ etch stop has been combined with the thin film separation by hydrogen implantation approach for SOI substrate fabrication. Ultra-thin (<5 nm) Si SOI layers have been fabricated successfully and characterized by transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.