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Bulk micromachining of silicon

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3 Author(s)
Kovacs, G.T.A. ; Center for Integrated Syst., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Maluf, Nadim I. ; Petersen, K.E.

Bulk silicon etching techniques, used to selectively remove silicon from substrates, have been broadly applied in the fabrication of micromachined sensors, actuators, and structures. Despite the more recent emergence of higher resolution, surface-micromachining approaches, the majority of currently shipping silicon sensors are made using bulk etching. Particularly in light of newly introduced dry etching methods compatible with complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors, it is unlikely that bulk micromachining will decrease in popularity in the near future. The available etching methods fall into three categories in terms of the state of the etchant: wet, vapor, and plasma. For each category, the available processes are reviewed and compared in terms of etch results, cost, complexity, process compatibility, and a number of other factors. In addition, several example micromachined structures are presented

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:86 ,  Issue: 8 )