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A Singapore research institution has developed a laser assisted wet chemical etching of gallium nitride (GaN). This technique offers many benefits compared to the traditional plasma etching technique. It can be used for the fabrication of vertical LEDs. Industries such as semiconductor fabrication, mechanical, and flexible electronics can leverage the competitive benefits of this technique.
The institution is keen to partner SMEs and MNEs through a licensing model.
Inductive coupled plasma (ICP) dry etching using Chlorine (Cl2) and Boron trichloride (BCl3) gas, is one of the processes that is traditionally employed for etching GaN. However, there are certain drawbacks. The lithography resist with thickness as high as 10um may be burnt or becomes difficult to be removed.
The Singapore research institution has developed a novel wet chemical etching technique of GaN using laser. The new technique eliminates the need for masks, thus there is no need for a lithography process. Using laser for the etching process increases the etching speed and enables creation of a clean deep vertical trench from the GaN wafer surface down to the sapphire substrate.
With the proposed laser assisted chemical etching technique, the GaN trench can be etched thoroughly with K2S2O8 (Potassium persulfate) solution which is not possible with the traditional etching process.
Using the novel etching process, the research institution is keen to establish partnerships with industry players (SMEs of all sizes or MNEs e.g. semiconductor technologies provider) through a licensing agreement.
1. The proposed laser-assisted chemical etching technique, 355nm diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser is used to improve etching speed and leads to fabrication of clean deep vertical trench.
2. Other competitive advantages include – elimination of lithography process (as it is maskless) and leveraging K2S2O8 for etching GaN.
3. Potential applications include:
• Use in semiconductor industry for LED chip fabrication and packaging of Integrated Circuit (IC) chip (IC chip dicing process).
• It can also be used in the mechanical industry for precision laser micromachining, mechanical part machining, plastic injection moulding fabrication, ceramic and glass micromachining (AlN ceramics micromachining).
• It can be beneficial in design and pattern formation in flexible electronics application.
Patent is granted for Singapore.
The Singapore institution seeks to work with SMEs or MNEs in the semiconductor industry based on a licensing agreement partnership.
The partner sought could be a LED manufacturer, LED chip fabrication and IC chip packaging OEMs, micromachining and flexible electronics manufacturers.
Under a licensing agreement:
- The partner can license the technology to offer as a product or service to their customers.