Electrochemical Etching of Nitrogen Ion-Implanted Gallium Nitride – A Route to 3D Nanoporous Patterning

authored by
Matthias Hoormann, Frederik Lüßmann, Christoph Margenfeld, Carsten Ronning, Florian Meierhofer, Andreas Waag

Dopant-selective electrochemical etching (ECE) of gallium nitride (GaN) results in well-defined porous layers with tunable refractive index, which is extremely interesting for integrating photonic components into nitride technology. Herein, the impact of nitrogen implantation with and without subsequent rapid thermal annealing (RTA) on the porosification process of highly n-doped GaN ([Si] 3 × 1019 cm−3) is investigated. Implantation is expected to compensate the donors of the n-GaN layer to spatially suppress porosification during ECE. Optical transmission, electrochemical capacitance–voltage, and X-Ray diffractometry of as-grown and as-implanted GaN suggest successful compensation of n-dopants. Cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy reveals the presence of mesopores (diameter 2–50 nm) after ECE of the as-grown n-GaN. In the case of implanted n-GaN, it is found that ECE results in macropores (diameter > 50 nm), which can be suppressed by an intermediate RTA step. The implanted and annealed n-GaN layers solely exhibit mesopores at the top and bottom, while the intermediate region remains unimpaired. Chronoamperometry and gravimetry provide additional insight and confirm the presence of macro- and mesopores in samples without and with RTA, respectively. The results demonstrate a successful implementation of etch-resisting subsurface layers, which are required for 3D refractive index engineering in porous GaN.

External Organisation(s)
Technische Universität Braunschweig
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Physica Status Solidi (B) Basic Research
Publication date
Publication status
E-pub ahead of print
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials, Condensed Matter Physics
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.1002/pssb.202400067 (Access: Open)