Surface energy engineering for LiTaO3 and α-quartz SiO2 for low temperature (<220 °c) wafer bonding

Brian Baker, Nicole Herbots, Shawn D. Whaley, Mohammed Sahal, Jacob Kintz, Aliya Yano, Saaketh Narayan, Alex L. Brimhall, Wey Lyn Lee, Yuko Akabane, Robert J. Culbertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wafer bonding can be substituted for heteroepitaxy when manufacturing specific heterojunction-based devices. Devices manufactured using wafer bonding include multijunction solar cells, integrated sensors, heterogeneously integrated photonic devices on Si (such as high-performance laser diodes), Mach-Zehnder modulators, photodetectors, optical filters, and surface acoustic wave devices. In these devices, creating heterointerfaces between different semiconductors with heavily mismatched lattice constants and/or significant thermal expansion mismatch presents significant challenges for heteroepitaxial growth. High costs and poor yields in heavily mismatched heteroepitaxy can be addressed by wafer bonding in these optoelectronic devices and sensors, including the LiTaO3/Si and LiTaO3/SiO2 heterostructures. In the present work, heterostructure formation between piezoelectric LiTaO3 (100) and Si (100) and α-quartz SiO2 (100) is investigated via wafer bonding. Direct bonding is selected instead of heteroepitaxy due to a significant thermal expansion mismatch between LiTaO3 and Si-based materials. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of LiTaO3 is 18.3 × 10-6/K. This is 1 order of magnitude larger than the CTE for Si, 2.6-2.77 × 10-6/K and 25-30 times larger than the CTE for fused SiO2 and quartz (which ranges 0.54-0.76 × 10-6/K). Thus, even at 200 °C, a 4 in. LiTaO3/Si bonded pair would delaminate with LiTaO3 expanding 300 μm in length while Si would expand only by 40 μm. Therefore, direct wafer bonding of LiTaO3/Si and LiTaO3/SiO2 is investigated with low temperature (T < 500 K) Nano-Bonding™, which uses surface energy engineering (SEE). SEE is guided by fast, high statistics surface energy measurements using three liquid contact angle analysis, the van Oss/van Oss-Chaudhury-Good theory, and a new, fast Drop Reflection Operative Program analysis algorithm. Bonding hydrophobic LiTaO3 to hydrophilic Si or SiO2 is found to be more effective than hydrophilic LiTaO3 to hydrophobic Si or SiO2 temperatures for processing LiTaO3 are limited by thermal decomposition LiTaO3 into Ta2O5 at T ≥ 180 °C due to Li out-diffusion as much as by LiTaO3 fractures due to thermal mismatch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041101
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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