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Inductively coupled pulsed plasmas in the presence of synchronous pulsed substrate bias are characterized in a commercial plasma etching reactor for conductor etching. The synchronous pulsed plasma characteristics are evaluated through the following: 1) Ar-based Langmuir probe diagnostics; 2) Ar/Cl2 plasma modeling utilizing the hybrid plasma equipment model and the Monte Carlo feature model for the investigation of feature profile evolutions; 3) basic etching characteristics such as average etch rate and uniformity; 4) sub-50-nm Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) basic etching performance and profile control; and 5) charge damage evaluation. It is demonstrated that one can control the etching uniformity and profile in advanced gate etching, and reduce the leakage current by varying the synchronous pulsed plasma parameters. Moreover, it is shown that synchronous pulsing has the promise of significantly reducing the electron shading effects compared with source pulsing mode and continuous-wave mode. The synchronous pulsed plasma paves the way to a wider window of operating conditions, which allows new plasma etching processes to address the large number of challenges emerging in the 45-nm and below technologies.