An extended set of vicinal surfaces has been prepared in a 6H-SiC(0001) substrate by mechanically grinding a concaveshaped
surface, followed by hot hydrogen etching. During grinding, the different crystallographic planes building up the 6H-SiC
polytype are cut under continuously changing polar angles in all azimuthal directions. The local structural reorganisation under
hot hydrogen etching is studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The etching conditions for silicon carbide concaveshaped
surfaces with vicinal orientations close to (0001) are investigated. Results of hydrogen etching for substrate temperatures
of 1700 and 1800 8C are presented. Two types of local bond environments are created, leading to a strong anisotropy of the
hydrogen etching. Stable step alignments are observed along the (11 20) crystallographic directions, which reflect the symmetry
of the bonding of the material. The polar variations of the surface orientation within the concave-shaped surface leads to a
variation of the terrace widths with smaller terraces obtained for larger polar misfit.
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