European Commission
agence de communication Lyon

Porous silicon reorganization: Influence on the structure, surface roughness and strain.
N. Milenkovic, M. Drießen, C. Weiss, S. Janz

Porous silicon and epitaxial thickening is a lift-off approach for silicon foil fabrication to avoid kerf losses and produce foils with thicknesses less than 50 µm. The crystal quality of the epitaxial silicon film strongly depends on the porous silicon template, which can be adapted through a reorganization process prior to epitaxy. In this work, we investigated the influence of reorganization on the structure of etched porous silicon layers. The reorganization processes were carried out in a quasi-inline Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition reactor. Variations on the temperatures and process durations for the reorganization step were examined. The cross-sections showed that porous silicon requires temperatures of approximately 1150 °C to produce an excellent template for epitaxy. Atomic Force Microscopy measurements on the samples annealed at different temperatures showed the evolution of the pores from as-etched to a closed surface. These measurements confirm that the surface is not yet closed after 30 min of reorganization at 1000 °C. Different durations of the reorganization step at a fixed temperature of 1150 °C all lead to a closed surface with a comparable roughness of less than 0.5 nm. X-ray diffraction measurements show a change in the strain in the porous layer from tensile to compressive when the reorganization temperature is increased from 800 °C to 1150 °C. A longer reorganization at a fixed temperature of 1150 °C leads to a reduction in the strain without reducing the quality of the surface roughness. Defect density measurements on silicon layers deposited on those templates confirm an improvement of the template for longer reorganization times. This study shows that our porous silicon templates achieve lower surface roughness and strain values than those reported in other publications.


Journal of Crystal Growth, 2015, Vol 432, p. 139-145