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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High-temperature morphological evolution of lithographically introduced cavities in silicon carbide


Internal cavities of controlled geometry and crystallography were introduced in 6H silicon carbide single crystals by combining lithographic methods, ion beam etching, and solid-state diffusion bonding. The morphological evolution of these internal cavities (negative crystals) in response to anneals of up to 128 h duration at 1900 degrees C was examined using optical microscopy. Surface energy anisotropy and facetting have a strong influence on both the geometric and kinetic characteristics of evolution. Decomposition of {12_10} cavity edges into {101_0} facets was observed after 16 h anneals, indicating that {12_10} faces are not components of the Wulff shape. The shape evolution kinetics of penny-shaped cavities were also investigated. Experimentally observed evolution rates decreased much more rapidly with those predicted by a model in which surface diffusion is assumed to be rate-limiting. This suggests that the development of facets, and the associated loss of ledges and terraces during the initial stages of evolution results in an evolution process limited by the nucleation rate of attachment/detachment sites (ledges) on the facets.

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