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For milling over large areas there is need for broad ion beam sources with a uniform etch rate profile. Currently uniform ion beam density is obtained in the central portion of the ion source by manipulating the grids and the magnets in the ion source. We have designed and implemented specially shaped hard masks to a rotating substrate holder. This mask is able to transform the Gaussian etch rate profile of a 150-mm-diam Oxford ion source to a flat profile. The flat profile decreases the etch rate in the central portion while maintaining the same etch rate along the edge. The deviation in the ion beam etch rate is within 5% in the flat region. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.