Chemical properties of oxidized silicon carbide surfaces upon etching in hydrofluoric acid

Sarit Dhar, Oliver Seitz, Mathew D. Halls, Sungho Choi, Yves J. Chabal, Leonard C. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen termination of oxidized silicon in hydrofluoric acid results from an etching process that is now well understood and accepted. This surface has become a standard for studies of surface science and an important component in silicon device processing for microelectronics, energy, and sensor applications. The present work shows that HF etching of oxidized silicon carbide (SiC) leads to a very different surface termination, whether the surface is carbon or silicon terminated. Specifically, the silicon carbide surfaces are hydrophilic with hydroxyl termination, resulting from the inability of HF to remove the last oxygen layer at the oxide/SiC interface. The final surface chemistry and stability critically depend on the crystal face and surface stoichiometry. These surface properties affect the ability to chemically functionalize the surface and therefore impact how SiC can be used for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16808-16813
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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