The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Role of etching in aqueous oxidation of hydrogen-terminated Si (100)

TitleRole of etching in aqueous oxidation of hydrogen-terminated Si (100)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKulkarni M, Green SK, Shea C, Queeney K.T.
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Start Page10206
Date Published05/2009

Surface infrared spectroscopy is used to examine the initial phases of oxidation of hydrogen-terminated Si(100) in ultrapure water containing dissolved oxygen. Analysis of both Si−O and Si−H vibrational modes suggests that oxide growth occurs in patches and reveals that much of the surface remains unoxidized after 5 h of immersion in O2(aq). Isotopic labeling experiments are used to demonstrate that the same type of surface etching that takes place in O2-free water occurs in the presence of O2(aq). Evidence for surface homogenization during the earliest stages of this etching process suggests that etching might play a critical role in smooth oxide growth, a conclusion supported by the near absence of detectable surface oxidation when etching is virtually eliminated by lowering the solution pH.