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Correlation of plasma characteristics to etch rate and via sidewall angle in a deep reactive ion etch system using Langmuir probe and optical emission spectroscopy

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4 Author(s)
Koirala, S.P. ; Microelectronics-Photonics Program, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 ; Awaah, I. ; Burkett, S.L. ; Gordon, M.H.

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A Langmuir probe and optical emission spectroscopy were used in a deep reactive ion etch system to correlate plasma parameters (atomic fluorine and argon emission, electron density, ion density, and electron average energy) with the etch rate and via sidewall angle. All data were obtained for coil powers ranging from 200 to 800 W, platen powers ranging from 7 to 16 W, and pressure ranging from 3.8 to 62 mTorr with constant SF6 and Ar flow rates of 112 and 18 SCCM (SCCM denotes cubic centimeter per minute at STP), respectively. Results indicate that there is a correlation with etch rate for all plasma parameters except for argon emission. For argon emission, the etch rate exhibits a double-valued relation where the etch rate can either increase or decrease with increasing argon emission intensity due to changes in pressure which affect the energy coupling efficiency. As expected, the etch rate increases for measured increases in fluorine emission, electron density, and ion density. The etch rate, however, decreases with increasing average electron energy due to collision processes. In contrast, no correlation is observed between any of the measured plasma parameters with sidewall angle. The last result is consistent with the idea that sidewall angle is primarily controlled by the passivation cycle as opposed to the etching cycle, where all the authors’ data were obtained.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2011

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