AlGaAs Dry Etching Process (ICP-RIE)

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Material Properties and Applications of Aluminium Gallium Arsenide (AlGaAs)

Aluminium Gallium Arsenide (AlGaAs) is a semiconductor material with very nearly the same lattice constant as GaAs, and it is an arbitrary alloy between GaAs and AlAs.

GaAs has the large lattice constant, and AlGaAs is grown on the GaAs substrate without lattice mismatches using molecular-beam-epitaxy (MBE) or metal-organic-chemical-vapor-deposition (MOCVD).

AlGaAs (Periodic Table)

Optoelectronics are one of the major applications of AlGaAs, including vertical-cavity-surface-emitting-lasers (VCSELs), laser-diodes (LDs) and infrared light-emitting-diodes (LEDs). 

Another application can be seen in telecommunication. Heterojunction-bipolar-transistors (HBTs) are fabricated using epitaxial AlGaAs/GaAs layers. AlGaAs/GaAs HBTs exceed silicon bipolar transistors in switching speed.

AlGaAs/GaAs Etching for VCSEL

There are several requirements for AlGaAs/GaAs etching process in VCSEL fabrication.

· Etch depth control
· Non-selective etching between AlGaAs/GaAs
· Smooth and vertical sidewalls
· Clean surfaces

The etched profile showed smooth and vertical surfaces.

AlGaAs Etching for VCSEL

Using an end-point detection system improves preciseness of etch depth control.

ALGaAs VCSEL Etching
Endpoint Detection for AlGaAs VCSEL Fabrication

AlGaAs Array Fabrication for LED

AlGaAs arrays were fabricated for LED production using chlorine chemistry.

Etch Depth : 60 µm
Etch Rate : 1.54 nm/min
Etch Mask : gold

AlGaAs Etching for LED
AlGaAs dry etch for LED

 System Lineup for AlGaAs Dry Etching

ICP Etch Systems

– ICP plasma sources optimizing AlGaAs etch profile control
– Optional optical/Interferometric end-point detection
– Easy-to-use touch-panel GUI

ICP Etch Systems for AlGaAs Plasma Etching


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ICP Etch Systems for Batch Processing

– Process chambers accommodating multiple small wafers
– Optional optical/Interferometric end-point detection
– Easy-to-use touch-panel GUI

ICP Etch System for AlGaAs Batch Plasma Etching


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  • Dry Etch System for AlGaAs etching


 SAMCO’s AlGaAs etching technologies are used for optoelectronics device research at

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