Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 22, pp 7819–7823 | Cite as

Graphene masks as passivation layers in the electrochemical etching of silicon

  • Cheng Fang
  • Joseph George Shapter
  • Nicolas Hans Voelcker
  • Amanda Vera Ellis


Site-specific masking with graphene films has the potential to facilitate low-cost, high-throughput micro-patterns on silicon substrates over large areas. Here, a facile approach to using graphene as a masking agent on silicon wafers for site-specific patterning is demonstrated. Graphene sheets were deposited via a sealing-tape-exfoliation method onto hydride-terminated (Si–H) silicon substrates. Raman confocal mapping showed inhibition of oxidation of the Si wafer underlying the graphene, indicating that the graphene restricts the diffusion of oxygen onto the Si surface. The graphene coated Si substrates were then electrochemically etched in an aqueous HF/ethanol (3:1 (v/v)) anodization solution. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the graphene layer successfully restricted the etching of the Si surface, however, near the edge sites of the graphene deep etching occurred.


  1. 1.
    Allen MJ, Tung VC, Kaner RB (2009) Honeycomb carbon: a review of graphene. Chem Rev 110:132–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shao Y, Wang J, Wu H, Liu J, Aksay IA, Lin Y (2010) Graphene based electrochemical sensors and biosensors: a review. Electroanalysis 22:1027–1036CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bunch JS, Verbridge SS, Alden JS, van der Zande AM, Parpia JM, Craighead HG et al (2008) Impermeable atomic membranes from graphene sheets. Nano Lett 8:2458–2462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nair RR, Wu HA, Jayaram PN, Grigorieva IV, Geim AK (2012) Unimpeded permeation of water through helium-leak-tight graphene-based membranes. Science 335:442–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Suk ME, Aluru NR (2010) Water transport through ultrathin graphene. J Phys Chem Lett 1:1590–1594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hsieh Y-P, Hofmann M, Chang K-W, Jhu JG, Li Y-Y, Chen KY et al (2013) Complete corrosion inhibition through graphene defect passivation. ACS Nano 8:443–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sutter E, Albrecht P, Camino FE, Sutter P (2010) Monolayer graphene as ultimate chemical passivation layer for arbitrarily shaped metal surfaces. Carbon 48:4414–4420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rangarajan, A., Wood, J., Koepke, J., Lyding, J (2013) Graphene as an etch mask for silicon, in APS March Meeting 2013 Baltimore, Maryland. p. A7.00004Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krishnamurthy A, Gadhamshetty V, Mukherjee R, Chen Z, Ren W, Cheng H-M et al (2013) Passivation of microbial corrosion using a graphene coating. Carbon 56:45–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Novoselov KS, Geim AK, Morozov SV, Jiang D, Zhang Y, Dubonos SV (2004) Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon films. Science 306:666–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ren B, Liu FM, Xie J, Mao BW, Zu YB, Tian ZQ (1998) In-situ monitoring of Raman scattering and photoilluminanscence from silicon surfaces in HF solutions. Appl Phys Lett 72:933–935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fang C, Föll H, Carstensen J (2006) Electrochemical pore etching in germanium. J Electroanal Chem 589:259–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Föll H, Christophersen M, Carstensen J, Hasse G (2002) Formation and application of porous silicon. Mater Sci Eng 39:93–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fang C, Ellis AV, Voelcker NH (2012) Electrochemical synthesis of silver oxide nanowires, microplatelets and application as SERS substrate precursors. Electrochim Acta 59:346–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ferrari AC, Meyer JC, Scardaci V, Casiraghi C, Lazzeri M, Mauri F et al (2006) Raman spectrum of graphene and graphene layers. Phys Rev Lett 97:187401–187404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Popovic DM, Milosavljevic V, Zekic A, Romcevic N, Daniels S (2011) Raman scattering analysis of silicon dioxide single crystal treated by direct current plasma discharge. Appl Phys Lett 98:1503–051503Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    De Wolf I (1996) Micro-Raman spectroscopy to study local mechanical stress in silicon integrated circuits. Semicond Sci Technol 11:139–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng Fang
    • 1
  • Joseph George Shapter
    • 1
  • Nicolas Hans Voelcker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amanda Vera Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Flinders Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology, School of Chemical and Physical SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, Mawson InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations