Magnetron enhanced reactive ion etching of In0.5Ga0.5P was investigated in BCl3 plasmas. Etch rates were determined as a function of cathode power (0.2–0.5 W/cm2), BCl3 flow rate (3–12 sccm), and pressure (2–10 mTorr), with rates as high as 0.35 μm/min achieved. The addition of N2, O2, and Ar to BCl3 was ineffective in producing an etch rate increase. Changes in sheet resistance and photoluminescence of n- and p-type InGaP exposed to BCl3 plasmas were also investigated as a function of power, pressure, and etch duration. The n-type material was more susceptible to etch-induced damage than p-type material, suggesting that electron traps are produced by ion bombardment. Scanning electron micrographs showed etched surfaces to be smooth, with vertical sidewalls free of undercut.

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