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Simulations of radical and ion fluxes on a wafer in a Cl2/Ar inductively coupled plasma discharge: Confrontation with GaAs and GaN etch experiments

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6 Author(s)
Despiau-Pujo, Emilie ; Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France ; Chabert, Pascal ; Bansropun, Shailendra ; Thenot, Didier
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A two-dimensional fluid model is used to study an industrial Ar/Cl2 inductively coupled plasma discharge designed to etch III-V samples. The effect of rf power, gas pressure, and chlorine content on the fluxes of reactive species reaching the wafer is numerically investigated. To understand how the etch process is influenced by the discharge conditions, simulation results are confronted with GaAs and GaN etch experiments performed in the same reactor geometry. When the source power is increased, the measured etch rate increase is consistent with the Cl radical and ion fluxes increase shown in the simulation, as well as the ion energy decrease due to the constant value of the wafer-holder power. Increasing the gas pressure results in a moderate increase in the etch rate due to the lower magnitude, lower mean energy, and anisotropy of the ion flux at high pressure. When the chlorine content is increased, the total ion flux decreases while Cl and Cl2 neutral fluxes increase significantly. A good correlation is obtained between calculated fluxes and etch characteristics, analyzed with scanning electron microscope images of etch profiles.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 4 )