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Dielectric Coating Thermal Stabilization During GaAs-Based Laser Fabrication for Improved Device Yield


The quality and yield of GaAs-based ridge waveguide devices fabricated at MIT Lincoln Laboratory were negatively impacted by the random lot-to-lot appearance of blisters in the front-side contact metal. The blisters signaled compromised adhesion between the front-side contact metal, underlying SiO2 dielectric coating, and semiconductor surface. A thermal-anneal procedure developed for the fabrication of GaAs slab coupled optical waveguide (SCOW) ridge waveguide devices stabilizes the SiO2 dielectric coating by means of outgassing and stress reduction. This process eliminates a primary source of adhesion loss, as well as blister generation, and thereby significantly improves device yield. Stoney’s equation was used to analyze stress-induced bow in device wafers fabricated using this stabilization procedure. This analysis suggests that changes in wafer bow contribute to the incidence of metal blisters in SCOW devices.

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The authors wish to thank T.Y. Fan for editorial review and guidance, Michael Sheehan and William Spencer for fabrication support, and Donna-Ruth Yost for providing thermal SiO2 test wafers. This work is sponsored by the Department of the Air Force under Air Force Contract No. FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the US Government.

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Correspondence to Michael K. Connors.

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Connors, M.K., Millsapp, J.E. & Turner, G.W. Dielectric Coating Thermal Stabilization During GaAs-Based Laser Fabrication for Improved Device Yield. J. Electron. Mater. 45, 2750–2756 (2016).

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  • GaAs
  • film stress
  • metal blister
  • blister
  • adhesion