Silicon carbide (SiC) single crystals, along with sapphire and silicon, are one of the most important substrates for high-brightness light-emitting diode fabrications. Owing to extremely high hardness (Mohs’ scale of 9.5) and chemical inertness, the polishing rate of SiC with conventional chemical mechanical polishing methods is not high, and surface scratches are also inevitable because of using slurry containing hard abrasives such as silica particles. Here artemisinin (Qinghaosu) crystals, very soft molecular solids, were found, for the first time to the best of our knowledge, to effectively polish SiC wafers even in pure water as demonstrated by proof-of-concept scratching experiments using atomic force microscopy. The underlying mechanism is attributed to activated oxidation of SiC by mechanically released reactive · OH free radicals from the endoperoxide bridges. The preliminary results reported here have important implications for developing novel alternative green and scratch-free polishing methods for hard-brittle substrates including SiC, diamond, and others.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Medicine, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Materials science|
|Keywords:||oxidation, atomic force microscopy, chemical mechanical polishing, Silicon carbide, artemisinin, hydroxyl free radical|