BYU Authors: Feng Zhang, Robert C. Davis
, and Matthew R. Linford, published in Langmuir
Here we present a straightforward patterning technique for silicon: subsurface oxidation for micropatterning silicon (SOMS). In this method, a stencil mask is placed above a silicon surface. Radio-frequency plasma oxidation of the substrate creates a pattern of thicker oxide in the exposed regions. Etching with HF or KOH produces very shallow or much higher aspect ratio features on silicon, respectively, where patterning is confirmed by atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and optical microscopy. The oxidation process itself is studied under a variety of reaction conditions, including higher and lower oxygen pressures (2 and 0.5 Torr), a variety of powers (50-400 W), different times and as a function of reagent purity (99.5 or 99.994% oxygen). SOMS can be easily executed in any normal chemistry laboratory with a plasma generator. Because of its simplicity, it may have industrial viability.