Iron nitride mask and reactive ion etching of GaN films

Heon Lee, James S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


One of the major GaN processing challenges is useful pattern transfer. Serious photoresist mask erosion and hardening are often observed in reactive ion etching of GaN. Fine pattern transfer to GaN films using photoresist masks and complete removal of remaining photoresist after etching are very difficult. By replacing the etch mask from conventional photoresist to a sputtered iron nitride (Fe-8% N) film, which is easily patterned by wet chemical etching and is very resistive to Cl based plasmas, GaN films can be finely patterned with vertical etched sidewalls. Successful pattern transfer is realized by reactive ion etching using Cl (H) containing plasmas. CHF3/Ar, C2ClF5/Ar, C2ClF5/Ar/O2, SiCl4, and CHCl3 plasmas were used to etch GaN. The GaN etch rate is dependent on the crystalline quality of GaN. Higher crystalline quality GaN films exhibit slower etch rates than GaN films with higher dislocation and stacking fault density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • CHCl, CHF, CClF
  • GaN film
  • Iron nitride film
  • Photoresist mask erosion
  • Photoresist mask hardening
  • Reactive ion etching (RIE)
  • SiCl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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