AFM analysis of HF vapor cleaned SiO 2 surfaces

R. J. Carter, E. J. Bergman, D. R. Lee, J. Owyang, Robert Nemanich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Si(100) surfaces were cleaned using HF/IPA vapor chemistries at ambient pressure and temperature with nitrogen as the carrier gas. Three distinct cases for oxide removal were studied: vapor etching of native oxides, RCA chemical oxides, and thermal oxides. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the surface morphology after the HF vapor etching process. The AFM indicated exaggerated peaks in random places on the surface. These peaks were identified as residue remaining after the vapor etching process. The average lateral width of the peaks were approximately 50 nm. The average height of the peaks for native and chemical oxide etched surfaces was relatively the same, approximately 8 nm. The average height of the peaks after thermal oxide removal was significantly smaller, approximately 1-2 nm. Peak density for native oxide etched surfaces was significantly greater than chemical or thermal oxide etched surfaces. We suggest that impurities in the oxide contribute to residue formation on the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
EditorsR.T. Fulks, G.N. Parsons, D.E. Slobadin, T.H. Yuzuriha
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 31 1997Apr 3 1997


OtherProceedings of the 1997 MRS Spring Meeting
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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