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Materials 2017, 10(8), 854; doi:10.3390/ma10080854

Shallow V-Shape Nanostructured Pit Arrays in Germanium Using Aqua Regia Electroless Chemical Etching

Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, Québec, QC H3C 1K3, Canada
Department of Physics and Instrumentation, National Institute of Applied Science and Technologies, Charguia, Tunis 1080, Tunisia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Due to its high refractive index, reflectance is often a problem when using Germanium for optoelectronic devices integration. In this work, we propose an effective and low-cost nano-texturing method for considerably reducing the reflectance of bulk Germanium. To do so, uniform V-shape pit arrays are produced by wet electroless chemical etching in a 3:1 volume ratio of highly-concentrated hydrochloridric and nitric acids or so-called aqua regia bath using immersion times ranging from 5 to 60 min. The resulting pit morphology, the crystalline structure of the surface and the changes in surface chemistry after nano-patterning are all investigated. Finally, broadband near-infrared reflectance measurements confirm a significant reduction using this simple wet etching protocol, while maintaining a crystalline, dioxide-free, and hydrogen-passivated surface. It is important to mention that reflectance could be further reduced using deeper pits. However, most optoelectronic applications such as photodetectors and solar cells require relatively shallow patterning of the Germanium to allow formation of a pn-junction close to the surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: Germanium; wet electroless etching; aqua regia; nanostructures; optical properties Germanium; wet electroless etching; aqua regia; nanostructures; optical properties

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chaabane, I.; Banerjee, D.; Touayar, O.; Cloutier, S.G. Shallow V-Shape Nanostructured Pit Arrays in Germanium Using Aqua Regia Electroless Chemical Etching. Materials 2017, 10, 854.

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