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Publication Citation: Robust Auto-Alignment Technique for Orientation-Dependent Etching of Nanostructures

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Author(s): Craig D. McGray; Richard J. Kasica; Ndubuisi G. Orji; Ronald G. Dixson; Michael W. Cresswell; Richard A. Allen; Jon C. Geist;
Title: Robust Auto-Alignment Technique for Orientation-Dependent Etching of Nanostructures
Published: May 29, 2012
Abstract: A robust technique is presented for auto-aligning nanostructures to slow-etching crystallographic planes in materials with diamond cubic structure. Lithographic mask patterns are modified from the intended dimensions of the nanostructures to compensate for uncertainty in crystal axis orientation. The technique was employed in fabricating 600-nm-long silicon nanolines having widths less than 5 nm, subjected to intentional misalignment of up to ±1°. After anisotropic etching, the auto-aligned structures exhibited as little as 1 nm of width variation, as measured by a critical dimension atomic force microscope, across 2° of variation in orientation. By contrast, the widths of control structures fabricated without auto-alignment showed 8 nm of variation. Use of the auto- alignment technique can eliminate the need for fiducial-based alignment methods in a variety of applications.
Citation: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Pages: pp. 023005-1 - 023005-6
Keywords: Auto-alignment, line width, nanoline, anisotropic etching, silicon etching, potassium hydroxide, KOH, TMAH, crystallographic etching, orientation-dependent etching, CD-AFM
Research Areas: Nanofabrication, Nanomanufacturing, and Nanoprocessing
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (3MB)