Simulation of anisotropic wet-chemical etching using a physical model


Suchtelen, J. van and Sato, K. and Veenendaal, E. van and Nijdam, A.J. and Gardeniers, J.G.E. and Enckevort, W.J.P. van and Elwenspoek, M. (1999) Simulation of anisotropic wet-chemical etching using a physical model. In: Twelfth IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS , January 17-21, 1999, Orlando, Florida, USA (pp. pp. 332-337).

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Abstract: We present a method to describe the orientation dependence of the etch rate of silicon, or any other single crystalline material, in anisotropic etching solutions by analytical functions. The parameters in these functions have a simple physical meaning. Crystals have a small number of atomically smooth faces, which etch (and grow) slowly as a consequence of the removal (or addition) of atoms by rows and layers. However, smooth faces have a roughening transition (well known in statistical physics); at increasing temperature they become rougher, and accordingly the etch and growth rates increase. Consequently, the basic physical parameters of our functions are the roughness of the smooth faces and the velocity of steps on these faces. This small set of parameters describes the etch rate in the two-dimensional space of orientations (on the unit sphere). We have applied our method to the practical case of etch rate functions for silicon crystals in KOH solutions. The maximum deviation between experimental data and simulation using only nine physically meaningful parameters is less than 5% of the maximum etch rate. This method, which in this study is used to describe anisotropic etching of silicon, can easily be adjusted to describe the growth or etching process of any crystal
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Copyright:© 1999 IEEE
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