We investigated higher selective etching between SiN and GaN using an HBr neutral beam (NB) and found that it exhibited a more selective reaction compared to Cl2 NB. The etching rate of GaN mainly depended on the desorption rate of the etching product (GaClx or GaBrx) assisted by the bombardment of NB. As a result, in the case of the HBr neutral beam, the GaN etching rate was drastically decreased at the atomic layer level because the vapor pressure of the etching product, GaBrx, was much lower than that of GaClx. On the other hand, the dominant etching progression of SiN was mainly caused by neutral beam bombardment energy, and the desorption of the etching products (SiClx or SiBrx) was almost the same in both cases because the vapor pressures of the etching product, SiClx and SiBrx. In particular, in the case of the HBr neutral beam, the neutral beam energy dependence of the surface reaction layer of SiN was larger than that of Cl2 NB. As a result, the etching selectivity between SiN and GaN in HBr NB improved to 2.1 at 10 W of bias power, whereas that with Cl2 NB was saturated at 0.41 at more than 10 W of bias power. We found that the surface atomic layer etching reaction could precisely control the desorption rate of the etching product by optimizing the neutral beam bombardment energy and gas chemistry. The HBr neutral beam process can achieve atomic layer level selective reactions on the SiN/GaN structure.

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