Investigation of the physical origins of etching LiNbO3 during Ti in-diffusion

Sivan, Vijay; Holland, Anthony; O'Mullane, Anthony P.; Mitchell, Arnan
March 2010
Applied Physics Letters;3/22/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 12, p121913
Academic Journal
We investigate the physical origins of etching observed during Ti diffusion. The relationship between observed etch depth and water vapor content in the annealing environment is quantified. The dynamics of the etching process are also identified. It is discovered that water vapor content is essential for etching and that there is a characteristic delay before etching is observed. From these observations we can conclude that the process is electrochemical in nature with ionic defects diffusing into the Ti strip from the lithium niobate and these defects catalyzing the dissociation of water into reactive ions.


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