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Ions in holes: An experimental study of ion distributions inside surface features on radio-frequency-biased wafers in plasma etching discharges

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7 Author(s)
Woodworth, J.R. ; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-1193 ; Miller, P.A. ; Shul, R.J. ; Abraham, I.C.
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We present an experimental study of ion fluxes, energy distributions, and angular distributions inside surface features on radio frequency-biased wafers in high-density, inductively driven discharges in argon. Specifically, we present data on ion distributions at the bottom of 100-μm-square, 400-μm-deep “holes” in the wafer. Transmission of ions to the bottom of the holes increases with increasing ion energy and decreases as the sheath size becomes comparable to the hole size. Ion energy distributions at the bottom of the holes are narrower than distributions on the flat wafer surface. The flux of ions remains normal to the wafer surface over most of the hole area but the flux of ions within 6 μm of the wall is angled towards the wall. The observed trends are consistent with effects expected due to bowing of the plasma sheath around the surface features on the wafer. Scattering of ions off sidewalls contributes at most, only a small part of the ion flux reaching the bottom of the hole. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 2 )