The etching behavior of the inverse {111} planes of undoped, semiconducting, n-type, InSb single crystals was explored. Depending upon the etchant, including anodic dissolution, various etch patterns were obtained on the inverse planes. In general, the etch pits on the In{111} plane were round, and the face was shiny, whereas the face of the inverse plane was dark and rough. The rates of dissolution in the electrolytes used were very low, especially in absence of oxidizers. The components dissolve as In3+ and Sb3 +. At current densities above 40 or 60 mA cm-2 (on Sb{111} or In{111}), growth of a black, colloidal film of Sb4O5Cl2 containing very fine metallic Sb particles occurs on both planes. The Sb particles result from the partial disintegration of InSb. Upon heating the film in vacuum, recrystallization occurs and the Sb aggregates to form larger particles. An explanation is offered for the different behaviors of the inverse {111} planes. © 1971, by The Electrochemical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

colloidal Sb; FeCl3 etchant; inverse {111} planes; Sb4O5Cl2; self-dissolution rates

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1945-7111; 0013-4651

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 The Electrochemical Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1971

Included in

Metallurgy Commons