, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 635-643,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Oct 2012

Impact of alcohol additives concentration on etch rate and surface morphology of (100) and (110) Si substrates etched in KOH solutions

Abstract

The influence of alcohol concentration on etch rate and surface morphology of (100) and (110) Si planes was investigated in this paper. The etching processes were carried out in KOH solutions with different concentrations of isopropanol and butanols. The etch rate minima versus alcohol concentration were observed for all the alcohols used in the experiments. Furthermore, close to the concentrations of etch rate minima, the smooth (110) planes were obtained. However, the (100) surfaces were covered with hillocks at these concentrations. Based on the surface tension measurements and literature reports, the explanation of appearance of the etch rate minimum was suggested. In the proposed model, the adsorption maximum corresponds to the complete formation of an alcohol monolayer on Si surface and, consequently, to the etch rate minimum. At higher concentrations of alcohol, the monolayer disappears and the etch rate increases.