Studies on silicon etching using the confined etchant layer technique
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Silicon surface etching in HBr solutions using the confined etchant layer technique (CELT) as well as scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) has been carried out and comparison between the two methods has been made in terms of the etching resolution. It has been shown that the lateral diffusion of the etchant in SECM configuration can be suppressed in CELT by a homogeneous scavenging reaction and thus the etching resolution of surface, especially for those with slow etching rate such as Si can be improved. H3AsO3 was added to the solution containing HBr which reacts; rapidly and homogeneously with the electrogenerated bromine, resulting in a very thin bromine diffusion layer surrounding the tip. The size of the etching spot at the Si wafer surface obtained using the CELT matches that of the tip very well. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.