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Nanofabrication on monocrystalline silicon through friction-induced selective etching of Si3N4 mask

Jian Guo, Bingjun Yu, Xiaodong Wang and Linmao Qian*

Author Affiliations

Tribology Research Institute, National Traction Power Laboratory, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:241  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-241

Published: 16 May 2014


A new fabrication method is proposed to produce nanostructures on monocrystalline silicon based on the friction-induced selective etching of its Si3N4 mask. With low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) Si3N4 film as etching mask on Si(100) surface, the fabrication can be realized by nanoscratching on the Si3N4 mask and post-etching in hydrofluoric acid (HF) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution in sequence. Scanning Auger nanoprobe analysis indicated that the HF solution could selectively etch the scratched Si3N4 mask and then provide the gap for post-etching of silicon substrate in KOH solution. Experimental results suggested that the fabrication depth increased with the increase of the scratching load or KOH etching period. Because of the excellent masking ability of the Si3N4 film, the maximum fabrication depth of nanostructure on silicon can reach several microns. Compared to the traditional friction-induced selective etching technique, the present method can fabricate structures with lesser damage and deeper depths. Since the proposed method has been demonstrated to be a less destructive and flexible way to fabricate a large-area texture structure, it will provide new opportunities for Si-based nanofabrication.

Friction-induced selective etching; Si3N4 mask; Silicon