Reactive ion etching of ZnO using the H2/CH4 and H2/CH4/Ar mixtures

Kuang Po Hsueh*, Ren Jie Hou, Cheng-Huang Kuo, Chun Ju Tun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This work investigates the reactive ions etching (RIE) physical properties of n-type ZnO using H2/CH4 and H2/CH 4/Ar mixtures by varying the gas flow ratio, the radio-frequency (rf) plasma power and the chamber pressure. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) results and surface topographies are discussed. Although the etching rate of the n-ZnO at an H2/CH4 flow rate of 100/0 sccm, a work pressure of 100 mTorr and an rf power of 300 W is lower than under any other conditions, the rms roughness of 43.78 nm is the highest, and supports the application of roughened transparent contact layer (TCL) in light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The dynamics associated with the high etching rate were highly efficient at an H2/CH4/Ar flow rate of 38/5/57 sccm, a work pressure of 150 mTorr and an rf power of 300 W. In addition, the ZnO with thermal annealing were studied. The slower etching rate of annealed n-ZnO is observed due to an increase the crystal quality of the ZnO films after thermal annealing which consists with the x-ray diffraction (XRD) results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71350D
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2008
EventOptoelectronic Materials and Devices III - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 27 Oct 200830 Oct 2008


  • Dry etching
  • Reactive ions etching
  • Roughness
  • ZnO


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