Infinite selectivity of wet SiO2 etching in respect to Al
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We propose and demonstrate an unconventional method suitable for releasing microelectromechanical systems devices containing an Al layer by wet etching using SiO2 as a sacrificial layer. We used 48% HF solution in combination with 20% oleum to keep the HF solution water-free and thus to prevent attack of the Al layer, achieving an outstanding etch rate of thermally grown SiO2 of 1 µm·min1. We also verified that this etching solution only minimally affected the Al layer, as the chip immersion for 9 min increased the Al layer sheet resistance by only 7.6%. The proposed etching method was performed in an ordinary fume hood in a polytetrafluorethylene beaker at elevated temperature of 70 °C using water bath on a hotplate. It allowed removal of the SiO2 sacrificial layer in the presence of Al without the necessity of handling highly toxic HF gas.
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceMicromachines. 2020, vol. 11, issue 4, p. 365-371.