Patterned Sapphire Substrates (PSS) – Quality Control of Nanoscale Etching for LED Fabrication

By Staff Writers

Topics Covered

The P100 AFM
About Ardic Instruments


Patterned sapphire substrates are used by LED manufacturers to increase LED efficiency. Light extraction of the LED is considerably improved by etching nano-scale patterns into the substrate. Their methodologies are differentiated by manufacturers by changing the pattern morphology, including the use of cones, pyramids, and flat tops.

PSS is also useful for the epitaxial growth process by promoting GaN lateral growth causing a lesser number of dislocations. For quality control, AFMs and optical profilers are used by manufacturers, however as patterns become smaller, AFMs are the predominant instrument. AFMs enable the manufacturer to precisely check for pattern geometries and find out signs for incomplete etching.


Patterned sapphire substrates are shown below in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Patterned sapphire substrates

Figure 2. Patterned sapphire substrates

The P100 AFM

The P100 has a sub-nanometer Z resolution and can be used for high-resolution imaging and measurement. The combined open-loop and low-noise scanner enables rapid and effective experiments up to 15µm by 15µm. A small 0.56µm laser spot size is produced by the innovative astigmatic optical design enabling users to experiment with smaller and faster AFM cantilevers.

The P100 also includes an highly intuitive PSX control software allowing the user to complete experiments with the least amount of training. The setup and scan process is automated by the one-click scan feature enabling users to quickly obtain high quality scan results. The flagging of scan data is simplified by the built-in scan library management feature and allows the user to easily delete or export scans.

About Ardic Instruments

Ardic Instruments is an analytical equipment manufacturer aiming to serve the global scientific community with the best customer experience possible. Through a transparent, accessible, and community-driven approach, Ardic Instruments fosters a direct channel of communication between the end-user and the manufacturer.

Ardic Instruments produces atomic force microscopes, MEMS analyzers, and label-free molecular diagnostic platforms for both academic and industrial applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ardic Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Ardic Instruments.


Date Added: Sep 5, 2013 | Updated: Sep 5, 2013
Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback