Selective growth of 3C-SiC on patterned Si substrates has been carried out by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition using hexamethyldisilane (HMDS) as the source and H-2/Ar gas mixture as the carrier gas. Selective growth of 3C-SiC was achieved at 1200degreesC for growth times up to 30 min without a significant damage to the oxide mask with a HCl to HMDS ratio of similar to 5. The amount of HCl determines the transition from nonselective to selective growth and to Si etching. It was also demonstrated that the HMDS source concentration was inversely proportional to the selectivity. The process of chemical etching of the polycrystalline SiC deposits on the mask during growth determines the degree of selectivity. For thin oxide mask, no selectivity was observed due to the very fast void formation. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier B.V.