Dislocation Etching Solutions for Mercury Cadmium Selenide

Report No. ARL-CR-0744
Authors: Kevin Doyle and Sudhir Trivedi
Date/Pages: September 2014; 24 pages
Abstract: Mercury cadmium selenide (Hg1-xCdxSe) is a possible alternative material to mercury cadmium telluride (Hg1-xCdxTe) for infrared (IR) sensor applications, but etch pit density (EPD) measurements are required to measure dislocations that affect device performance. No EPD solutions have been reported for Hg1-xCdxSe, and standard EPD solutions for Hg1-xCdxTe have proved ineffective. Thus, a new etching solution is required for EPD measurements of Hg1-xCdxSe. Samples were etched in various solutions and the resulting pits were observed using Nomarski microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Solutions consisting of nitric and hydrochloric acid produced mainly trapezoid-shaped pits, but with flat or rounded bottoms rather than converging to a single point as expected. One solution consisting of nitric, hydrochloric, and phosphoric acid produced hexagonal pits that converged at a single point as expected, but this solution was unstable and these pits could not be repeated on any other sample. Further experiments are required to produce an etching solution that consistently forms pits that converge on a single point and then transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements will need to be performed to confirmed that these pits correspond to a dislocationthus enabling EPD measurement of Hg1-xCdxSe.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2014