Selective wet etching of Si3N4/SiO2 in phosphoric acid with the addition of fluoride and silicic compounds

Dongwan Seo, Jin Sung Bae, Eunseok Oh, Solbaro Kim, Sangwoo Lim

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Various additives were added to H3PO4 in order to achieve a highly selective wet etching of Si3N4 to SiO2. Fluoride compounds such as HF, NH4F, and NH 4HF2 were added to the H3PO4 in order to increase the etch rate of the Si3N4. In addition, silicic compounds, including H2SiF6, TEOS, and Si(OH)4, were added to decrease the etch rate of SiO2. The addition of the fluoride compounds into the H3PO4 increased the etch rate of the Si3N4, but the etch selectivity of the Si3N4 to SiO2 decreased due to the greater increase in the etch rate of the SiO2. Both the etch rate and the selectivity showed strong relationships with the amount of fluorine added in H3PO4. The addition of TEOS and Si(OH) 4 increased the etch selectivity by reducing the etch rate of the SiO2. In particular, the addition of Si(OH)4 to H 3PO4 in the presence of NH4F and NH 4HF2 produced an etch selectivity greater than 10 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was financially supported by OCI Co., Ltd. This work was also supported by Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2009-0093823 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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