Black silicon (BSi) is a branch of silicon material whose surface is specially processed to a micro/nanoscale structure, which can achieve ultra-low reflectance or ultra-high electrochemical reactivity. The diversity and complex surface structures of BSi make it challenging to commercialize BSi devices. Modeling and simulation are commonly used in the semiconductor industry to help in better understanding the material properties, predict the device performance, and provide guidelines for fabrication parameters’ optimization. The biggest challenge for BSi device modeling and simulation is obtaining accurate input surface morphological data. In this work, the 3D models of challenging BSi textures are compared as obtained by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) tomography techniques. In previous work, the PFIB tomography workflow toward the application of surface topography is optimized. In this work, the 3D models obtained from both AFM and PFIB are comprehensively compared, by using the surface models as inputs for finite-difference time-domain-based optical simulation. The results provide strong evidence that PFIB tomography is a better choice for characterizing highly roughened surface such as BSi and provides surface 3D models with better reliability and consistency.

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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Adv. Mater. Technol.
Photonic Materials

Zhang, Y., Veeken, T., Wang, S., Scardera, G., Abbott, M., Payne, D., … Hoex, B. (2022). Plasma Focused Ion Beam Tomography for Accurate Characterization of Black Silicon Validated by Full Wave Optical Simulation. Adv. Mater. Technol., 7(10), 2200068: 1–12. doi:10.1002/admt.202200068