Ga+ and Au+ focused ion beams (FIB) are used to micromachine GaN films. The GaN micromachining has been studied at energies from 30-90 keV, incident angle from 0-30°, and number of repetitive scans from 10 to 50 scans. Trenches milled in GaN have vertical and smooth side-walls and very smooth bottoms. The micromachining rate was found to be fairly independent of ion dose, ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 μm3/nC for Ga+ and I to 2 Pm3/nC for Au+. This translates into an effective yield of of 6-7 atoms/ion for Ga+ and 21-26 atoms/ion for Au+. This represents the highest direct FIB removal yield reported to date. We have also investigated the micromachining of GaN substrate material: c-face sapphire. Using FIB Ga+, sapphire has an effective yield of ∼2-2.5 atoms/ion, or approximately 1/3 of the GaN sputtering yield. For the materials investigated, we found the sputtering yield to be inversely proportional to the strength of the material chemical bond. We also describe the application of the FIB μmachining technique to the fabrication of small period Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR) mirrors for a short cavity GaN laser structure.
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