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A three‐dimensional model for inductively coupled plasma etching reactors: Azimuthal symmetry, coil properties, and comparison to experiments

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5 Author(s)
Kushner, M.J. ; University of Illinois, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1406 West Green Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801 ; Collison, Wenli Z. ; Grapperhaus, Michael J. ; Holland, John P.
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Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching reactors are rapidly becoming the tool of choice for low gas pressure, high plasma density etching of semiconductor materials. Due to their symmetry of excitation, these devices tend to have quite uniform etch rates across the wafer. However, side to side and azimuthal variations in these rates have been observed, and have been attributed to various asymmetries in pumping, reactor structure and coil properties. In this article, a three‐dimensional computer model for an ICP etching reactor is reported whose purposes is to investigate these asymmetries. The model system is an ICP reactor powered at 13.56 MHz having flat coils of nested annuli powering Ar/N2 and Cl2 plasmas over a 20‐cm diam wafer. For demonstration purposes, asymmetries were built into the reactor geometry which include a wafer‐load lock bay, wafer clamps, electrical feeds to the coil, and specifics of the coil design. Comparisons are made between computed and experimentally measured ion densities and poly‐silicon etch rates in Cl2 plasmas. We find that the electrical transmission line properties of the coil have a large influence on the uniformity of plasma generation and ion fluxes to the wafer. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:80 ,  Issue: 3 )