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Convex corner undercutting of {100} silicon in anisotropic KOH etching: the new step-flow model of 3-D structuring and first simulation results

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4 Author(s)
Schroder, H. ; Fraunhofer Inst. for Reliability & Microintegration, Berlin, Germany ; Obermeier, E. ; Horn, A. ; Wachutka, G.K.M.

In this paper, the mechanism of convex corner (CC) undercutting of Si{100} in pure aqueous KOH solutions is revisited by proposing the step-flow model of 3-D structuring as a proper description of the observed phenomena. The basic idea is to conceive the Si{100} anisotropic etching process, on the atomic scale, as a “peeling” process of terraced {111} planes at (110) oriented steps to understand also the arising shape in Si(100) etching. On the basis of our new model, we are able to predict the microscopic three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the characteristic CC undercutting without any compensation etchmask structures. Furthermore, the theoretical description has been implemented in a new 3-D simulation tool. Its ability to calculate the shape of simple beam structures of different orientation is experimentally shown

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )