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Summary form only given, as follows. Plasmas have frequently been used in industry as a last step surface preparation technique in an otherwise predominantly wet-etch process. The limiting factor in the usefulness of plasma cleaning techniques has been the rate at which organic materials are removed. Recent research in the field of plasma chemistry has provided some understanding of plasma processes. By controlling plasma conditions and gas mixtures, ultra-fast plasma cleaning and etching is possible. With enhanced organic removal rates, plasma processes become more desirable as an environmentally sound alternative to traditional solvent or acid dominated process, not only as a cleaning tool, but also as a patterning and machining tool. In this paper, innovations in plasma processes are discussed including enhanced plasma etch rates via plasma environment control and aggressive gas mixtures. Applications that have not been possible with the limited usefulness of past plasma processes are now approaching the realm of possibility. Some of these possible applications are discussed along with their impact to environmentally conscious manufacturing.
Date of Conference: 5-8 June 1995