The high quality surface can exhibit the irreplaceable application of single crystal silicon carbide in the fields of optoelectronic devices, integrated circuits and semiconductor. However, high hardness and remarkable chemical inertness lead to great difficulty to the smoothing process of silicon carbide. Therefore, the research presented in this paper attempts to smooth silicon carbide wafer with photocatalysis assisted chemical mechanical polishing (PCMP) by using of the powerful oxidability of UV photo-excited hydroxyl radical on surface of nano-TiO2 particles. Mechanical lapping was using for rough polishing, and a material removal model was proposed for mechanical lapping to optimize the polishing process. Several photocatalysis assisted chemical mechanical polishing slurries were compared to achieve fine surface. The theoretical analysis and experimental results indicate that the material removal rate of lapping process decreases in index form with the decreasing of abrasive size, which corresponds with the model developed. After processed with mechanical lapping for 1.5 hours and subsequent photocatalysis assisted chemical mechanical polishing for 2 hours, the silicon carbide wafer obtains a high quality surface with the surface roughness at Ra 0.528 nm The material removal rate is 0.96 μm/h in fine polishing process, which is significantly influenced by factors such as ultraviolet irradiation, electron capture agent (H2O2) and acidic environment. This combined method can effectively reduce the surface roughness and improve the polishing efficiency on silicon carbide and other hard-inert materials.

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