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Mammana S.S.,Brazilian Association for Informatics ABINFO | Greatti A.,Brazilian Association for Informatics ABINFO | Luiz F.H.,Brazilian Association for Informatics ABINFO | Da Costa F.I.,Brazilian Association for Informatics ABINFO | And 5 more authors.
Thin Solid Films | Year: 2014

We describe a study on wet etching of thin films of indium tin oxide (ITO) using a simple method by monitoring the resistance of the thin film in aqueous solutions of oxalic acid and hydrochloric acid. Generally three different regimes can be distinguished during etching ITO in acids: (1) initial etching, which is slow, (2) a fast etching phase and (3) slow etching stage at the end. These regimes are explained in terms of a porosity-roughness model. This porosity model has been confirmed largely by X-ray reflection measurements at grazing incidence, roughness measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A reliable method for monitoring the resistance during etching has been developed. This method is based on a 2-strips measuring jig with a very low series contact resistance. The activation energy of the etch rate of ITO films was found to be 80 ± 5 kJ/mol for oxalic acid and 56 ± 5 kJ/mol for HCl. SEM analyses in the final stage of the etching process indicate an enrichment of Sn in the residual film material. These observations are explained in terms of preferential etching of In2O3. X-ray analyses showed that the density of the ITO film decreased by etching. By adding ferric chloride to the oxalic acid solution we could accelerate the etch rate substantially. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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