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Non-destructive testing of damage layers in GaAs wafers by surface acoustic waves

: Schneider, D.; Hammer, R.; Jurisch, M.


Semiconductor Science and Technology 14 (1999), Nr.1, S.93-98
ISSN: 0268-1242
ISSN: 1361-6641
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Laser-Akustik; Ultraschall

Slicing of GaAs wafers from ingots produces a damage layer that has to be completely removed by polishing. A non-destructive control of the machining process is desirable. Laser induced surface acoustic waves are demonstrated to be a promising method to characterize the state of the surface. The dispersion of this wave mode has been used as a measure of the thickness of the damage layer. The investigations were performed on wafers which were stepwise polished to remove the damage layer. In this way the damage layer was found to have a thickness of about 10 5m. This result agrees with investigations performed with positron annihilation. The damage layer was found to have a considerable lower elastic modulus (by up to about 18 %) than the bulk material of GaAs. With increasing polishing depth the modulus of the damage layer approaches to that of the bulk material. The elastic modulus allows to estimate the defect volume in the damage layer by applying a theory of heterogeneous materials. A defect volume fraction of 0.48 % was estimated for the as-sawn state of the wafer. It reduces to 0.05 % for a polishing depth of 6.5 5m and goes to zero at a depth of 10 5m.