Impact of inductively coupled plasma etching conditions on the formation of semi-polar (11 2‾2) and non-polar (11 2‾0) GaN nanorods

Pierre Marie Coulon, Peng Feng, Tao Wang, Philip A. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation of gallium nitride (GaN) semi-polar and non-polar nanostructures is of importance for improving light extraction/absorption of optoelectronic devices, creating optical resonant cavities or reducing the defect density. However, very limited studies of nanotexturing via dry etching have been performed, in comparison to wet etching. In this paper, we investigate the formation and morphology of semi-polar (1122) and non-polar (1120) GaN nanorods using inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching. The impact of gas chemistry, pressure, temperature, radio-frequency (RF) and ICP power and time are explored. A dominant chemical component is found to have a significant impact on the morphology, being impacted by the polarity of the planes. In contrast, increasing the physical component enables the impact of crystal orientation to be minimized to achieve a circular nanorod profile with inclined sidewalls. These conditions were obtained for a small percentage of chlorine (Cl2) within the Cl2 + argon (Ar) plasma combined with a low pressure. Damage to the crystal was reduced by lowering the direct current (DC) bias through a reduction of the RF power and an increase of the ICP power.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2562
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2020


  • Dry etching
  • GaN
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Light emitting devices
  • Morphology
  • Nanostructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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