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Ripple Formation during Oblique Angle Etching

Green Center for Systems Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Forest Park, Dallas, TX 75390, USA
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR 72211, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(4), 272;
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Simulation of Coating 2019)
PDF [1666 KB, uploaded 22 April 2019]


Chemical removal of materials from the surface is a fundamental step in micro- and nano-fabrication processes. In conventional plasma etching, etchant molecules are non-directional and perform a uniform etching over the surface. However, using a highly directional obliquely incident beam of etching agent, it can be possible to engineer surfaces in the micro- or nano- scales. Surfaces can be patterned with periodic morphologies like ripples and mounds by controlling parameters including the incidence angle with the surface and sticking coefficient of etching particles. In this study, the dynamic evolution of a rippled morphology has been investigated during oblique angle etching (OAE) using Monte Carlo simulations. Fourier space and roughness analysis were performed on the resulting simulated surfaces. The ripple formation was observed to originate from re-emission and shadowing effects during OAE. Our results show that the ripple wavelength and root-mean-square roughness evolved at a more stable rate with accompanying quasi-periodic ripple formation at higher etching angles (θ > 60°) and at sticking coefficient values (Sc) 0.5 ≤ Sc ≤ 1. On the other hand, smaller etching angle (θ < 60°) and lower sticking coefficient values lead to a rapid formation of wider and deeper ripples. This result of this study can be helpful to develop new surface patterning techniques by etching. View Full-Text
Keywords: ripple formation; oblique angle; etching; Monte Carlo simulation ripple formation; oblique angle; etching; Monte Carlo simulation

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Cansizoglu, M.F.; Yurukcu, M.; Karabacak, T. Ripple Formation during Oblique Angle Etching. Coatings 2019, 9, 272.

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