Computer simulation of radio-frequency methane/hydrogen plasmas and their interaction with GaAs Surfaces


The following thesis describes the computer modelling of radio frequency capacitively coupled methane/hydrogen plasmas and the consequences for the reactive ion etching of (100) GaAs surfaces. In addition a range of etching experiments was undertaken over a matrix of pressure, power and methane concentration. The resulting surfaces were investigated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the results were discussed in terms of physical and chemical models of particle/surface interactions in addition to the predictions for energies, angles and relative fluxes to the substrate of the various plasma species. The model consisted of a Monte Carlo code which followed electrons and ions through the plasma and sheath potentials whilst taking account of collisions with background neutral gas molecules. The ionisation profile output from the electron module was used as input for the ionic module. Momentum scattering interactions of ions with gas molecules were investigated via different models and compared against results given by quantum mechanical code. The interactions were treated as central potential scattering events and the resulting neutral cascades were followed. The resulting predictions for ion energies at the cathode compared well to experimental ion energy distributions and this verified the particular form of the electrical potentials used and their applicability in the particular geometry plasma cell used in the etching experiments. The final code was used to investigate the effect of external plasma parameters on the mass distribution, energy and angles of all species impingent on the electrodes. Comparisons of electron energies in the plasma also agreed favourably with measurements made using a Langmuir electric probe. The surface analysis showed the surfaces all to be depleted in arsenic due to its preferential removal and the resultant Ga:As ratio in the surface was found to be directly linked to the etch rate. The etch rate was determined by the methane flux which was predicted by the code.

Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: Department: Engineering and Applied Science If you have discovered material in AURA which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either theirs or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: plasma,radio frequency,model,consequences,GaAs,etch
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:32
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2010 16:29
Completed Date: 1999-06
Authors: Layberry, Russell L.


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record