Selective chemical etch of gallium nitride by phosphoric acid

Chongmin Lee, Jennifer K. Hite, Michael A. Mastro, Jaime A. Freitas, Charles R. Eddy, Hong Yeol Kim, Jihyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The authors report on the direct comparison of the chemical etch characteristics on both Ga- and N-face gallium nitride (GaN) by phosphoric acid. First, Ga-face GaN was grown next to N-face GaN by a polarity inversion method in a metal-organic chemical vapor deposition reactor. Micro-photoluminescence, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and micro-Raman spectroscopy were used to analyze the etch characteristics of Ga- and N-face GaN before and after a H 3PO 4-based chemical etch. Ga-face was chemically stable in a phosphoric acid solution. However, the chemical etch continued proceeding on the N-face GaN due to the weak repulsive force to OH - ions. Dodecagonal nano-pyramids which dramatically enhanced the photoluminescence intensity were observed on N-face GaN after a H 3PO 4-based chemical etch.

Original languageEnglish
Article number040602
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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