Reactive ion etching of gallium nitride films

Heon Lee, David B. Oberman, James S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reactive ion etching (RIE) was performed on gallium nitride (GaN) films grown by electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Etching was carried out using trifluoromethane (CHF3) and chloropentafluoroethane (C9ClF5) plasmas with Ar gas. A conventional rf plasma discharge RIE system without ECR or Ar ion gun was used. The effects of chamber pressure, plasma power, and gas flow rate on the etch rates were investigated. The etch rate increased linearly with the ratio of plasma power to chamber pressure. The etching rate varied between 60 and 500Å/min, with plasma power of 100 to 500W, chamber pressure of 60 to 300 mTorr, and gas flow rate of 20 to 50 sccm. Single crystalline GaN films on sapphire showed a slightly lower etch rate than domain-structured GaN films on GaAs. The surface morphology quality after etching was examined by atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-837
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Chloropentafluoroethane (CClF)
  • Gallium nitride (GaN)
  • Reactive ion etching (RIE)
  • Trifluoromethane (CHF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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