Non-Contact Final Polish/Passivation Technology for the Production of Epi-Ready GaSb Wafers

Period of Performance: 10/07/2002 - 06/01/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Galaxy Compound Semiconductors, Inc.
9922 E. Montgomery #7
Spokane, WA 99206
Principal Investigator


Special technology and circuit architecture is under investigation for implementation of low power electronics (LPE) that operate at low supply voltages without sacrificing performance. GaSb substrates have advantages that make it attractive for applications that require low power and high frequency. A significant aspect inhibiting commercial application of GaSb wafers is the inconsistency of the substrate surface for heterostructure growth and device applications. In particular, producing a damage free surface with a designed surface oxide is difficult in this soft material using standard chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) techniques. An opportunity exists to establish a production method for obtaining smooth GaSb surfaces with a controlled oxide. Gas cluster ion beam (GCIB) processing, a novel nanoscale surface modification technique, will be used to smooth and remove surface and sub-surface damage from polished two-inch (100) GaSb wafers. A GCIB matrix of as-received and smoothed GaSb surfaces will be examined using MBE desorption and heteroepitaxy growth. Structural and Electrical integrity of the substrates will be analyzed to determine feasibility. Commercialization of the GaSb substrate surface preparation process is regarded with high probability. The nation may expect to benefit from the success of the proposal to quickly establish a commercial source of epi-ready GaSb wafers for both industry and the government. Commercialization of GaSb substrates for low power applications will be greatly enhanced by the robotic, environmental friendly GCIB process with a United States manufacturing base for GCIB instrumentation and GaSb wafers.