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Room light anodic etching of highly doped n-type 4 H-SiC in high-concentration HF electrolytes: Difference between C and Si crystalline faces

Gael Gautier*, Frederic Cayrel, Marie Capelle, Jérome Billoué, Xi Song and Jean-Francois Michaud

Author Affiliations

GREMAN, UMR CNRS 7347, Université de Tours, 16 rue P. et M. Curie, Tours Cedex 2, 37071, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:367  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-367

Published: 3 July 2012


In this paper, we study the electrochemical anodization of n-type heavily doped 4 H-SiC wafers in a HF-based electrolyte without any UV light assistance. We present, in particular, the differences observed between the etching of Si and C faces. In the case of the Si face, the resulting material is mesoporous (diameters in the range of 5 to 50 nm) with an increase of the ‘chevron shaped’ pore density with depth. In the case of the C face, a columnar morphology is observed, and the etch rate is twice greater than for the one for the Si face. We've also observed the evolution of the potential for a fixed applied current density. Finally, some wafer defects induced by polishing are clearly revealed at the sample surfaces even for very short etching times.

Porous silicon carbide; Electrochemical etching; Si face; C face