, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp 1463-1468,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 03 Sep 2009

Rolled-Up Nanotech: Illumination-Controlled Hydrofluoric Acid Etching of AlAs Sacrificial Layers


The effect of illumination on the hydrofluoric acid etching of AlAs sacrificial layers with systematically varied thicknesses in order to release and roll up InGaAs/GaAs bilayers was studied. For thicknesses of AlAs below 10 nm, there were two etching regimes for the area under illumination: one at low illumination intensities, in which the etching and releasing proceeds as expected and one at higher intensities in which the etching and any releasing are completely suppressed. The “etch suppression” area is well defined by the illumination spot, a feature that can be used to create heterogeneously etched regions with a high degree of control, shown here on patterned samples. Together with the studied self-limitation effect, the technique offers a way to determine the position of rolled-up micro- and nanotubes independently from the predefined lithographic pattern.