Open Access Nano Express

Si nanopatterning by reactive ion etching through an on-chip self-assembled porous anodic alumina mask

Violetta Gianneta, Antonis Olziersky and Androula G Nassiopoulou*

Author affiliations

NCSR Demokritos/IMEL, Terma Patriarhou Gregoriou, Aghia Paraskevi, Athens, 15310, Greece

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:71  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-71

Published: 12 February 2013


We report on Si nanopatterning through an on-chip self-assembled porous anodic alumina (PAA) masking layer using reactive ion etching based on fluorine chemistry. Three different gases/gas mixtures were investigated: pure SF6, SF6/O2, and SF6/CHF3. For the first time, a systematic investigation of the etch rate and process anisotropy was performed. It was found that in all cases, the etch rate through the PAA mask was 2 to 3 times lower than that on non-masked areas. With SF6, the etching process is, as expected, isotropic. By the addition of O2, the etch rate does not significantly change, while anisotropy is slightly improved. The lowest etch rate and the best anisotropy were obtained with the SF6/CHF3 gas mixture. The pattern of the hexagonally arranged pores of the alumina film is, in this case, perfectly transferred to the Si surface. This is possible both on large areas and on restricted pre-defined areas on the Si wafer.

78.67.Rb, 81.07.-b, 61.46.-w

Porous anodic alumina; Si nanopatterning; Reactive ion etching; Fluorine chemistry