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Open AccessArticle

Focused Ion Beam Milling of Single-Crystal Sapphire with A-, C-, and M-Orientations

by Qiuling Wen 1,2,*, Xinyu Wei 1,2, Feng Jiang 1,2, Jing Lu 1,2 and Xipeng Xu 1,2
1
Institute of Manufacturing Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, China
2
Fujian Engineering Research Center of Intelligent Manufacturing for Brittle Materials, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(12), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13122871
Received: 23 May 2020 / Revised: 22 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
Sapphire substrates with different crystal orientations are widely used in optoelectronic applications. In this work, focused ion beam (FIB) milling of single-crystal sapphire with A-, C-, and M-orientations was performed. The material removal rate (MRR) and surface roughness (Sa) of sapphire with the three crystal orientations after FIB etching were derived. The experimental results show that: The MRR of A-plane sapphire is slightly higher than that of C-plane and M-plane sapphires; the Sa of A-plane sapphire after FIB treatment is the smallest among the three different crystal orientations. These results imply that A-plane sapphire allows easier material removal during FIB milling compared with C-plane and M-plane sapphires. Moreover, the surface quality of A-plane sapphire after FIB milling is better than that of C-plane and M-plane sapphires. The theoretical calculation results show that the removal energy of aluminum ions and oxygen ions per square nanometer on the outermost surface of A-plane sapphire is the smallest. This also implies that material is more easily removed from the surface of A-plane sapphire than the surface of C-plane and M-plane sapphires by FIB milling. In addition, it is also found that higher MRR leads to lower Sa and better surface quality of sapphire for FIB etching. View Full-Text
Keywords: sapphire; focused ion beam; crystal orientation; etching; material removal rate; surface roughness sapphire; focused ion beam; crystal orientation; etching; material removal rate; surface roughness
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Wen, Q.; Wei, X.; Jiang, F.; Lu, J.; Xu, X. Focused Ion Beam Milling of Single-Crystal Sapphire with A-, C-, and M-Orientations. Materials 2020, 13, 2871.

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