Fabrication of thin, free-standing BPSG films for metrological methods utilizing neutron-induced nuclear reactions

C. L. Trivelpiece, J. S. Brenizer, C. G. Pantano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Thin, free-standing boro-phosphosilicate glass (BPSG) films (<1.5 μm thick, 10 - 20 mm2) were fabricated (PSU NSF - NNIN Site) to serve as neutron converting media for a proposed high-resolution neutron imaging system capable of submicron sample imaging. The B and P concentration in the BPSG films was 4.5 and 3.5 w%, respectively, measured by ICP-OES. Silicon nitride (Si 3N4) was deposited on both sides of the wafer to act as an etch mask and a protective layer over the BPSG. The bulk wafer stress induced by the lower expansion Si3N4 and BPSG layers was ∼90 MPa (tensile). The Si substrate was removed from the photolithography-patterned areas via wet etch in KOH:DI H2O (45:55) solution at 100°C so that the exposed areas consisted of free-standing Si3N 4/BPSG/Si3N4 stacked windows. The Si 3N4 was removed via MERIE from the windows. NDP of the processed films showed that the boron concentration was constant and uniform throughout the exposed BPSG film. Visual observations of the free-standing windows showed long-range spatial deformation of the films in terms of "waves" caused by stress gradients, which were observed near the edges of the windows using optical birefringence. An annealing schedule was implemented to determine if the glass film deformation was caused by residual stress in the as-deposited film. Preliminary results of these experiments imply another mechanism is responsible for the deformation of the free-standing films. This work will review the processing techniques used in film fabrication and present the results of the thermal treatments of the thin, free-standing BPSG films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanoengineering
Subtitle of host publicationFabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices VII
StatePublished - 2010
EventNanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices VII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2010Aug 4 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherNanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Fabrication of thin, free-standing BPSG films for metrological methods utilizing neutron-induced nuclear reactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this