Improved Technique for Cleaning Silicon
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Obtaining an atomically clean surface is often a prerequisite to any controlled growth or deposition process such as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). One method that is often used is sputter clean where an energetic beam of inert gas ions is used to take off the first few surface layers of the substrate. The sputtering action introduces lattice displacement at the surface and also causes penetration of the sputtering species into the subsurface. The damage may be annealed out, but the residual implanted gas is difficult to eliminate at all but very high temperatures. This leads to defective film growth and also voiding at the interface between substrate and grown film . Higher temperature post sputter heat treatment is often incompatible with other processing requirements. In references  and , Kugimiya et al.