520/530/580.495 Microfabrication Laboratory and 520.

773 Advanced Topics in Fabrication and Microengineering

Lecture 9 Dry Etching

Reading for this lecture: (1) May. Chapter 5.2 (2) Williams paper HW #6: Due Nov. 6 .

dry etching has less selectivity than wet etching •Anisotropy: In general. the etch reactants come form a liquid source •In dry etchants. dry etch has lower etch than wet etching •Etch Control: Dry etching is much easier to start and stop than wet etching FH2O H2O HF HF F CF4 H+ HF H O 2 H+ SF6 CF22+ CF4 CF3 + F CF5- Wet Etch Dry Etch . dry etching has higher degree of anisotropy than wet etching •Etch Rate: In general.Wet Etching vs Dry Etching •In wet etchants. the etch reactants come form a gas or vapor phase source and are typically ionized -Atoms or ions from the gas are the reactive species that etch the exposed film •Selectivity : In general.

Etch Mechanism •Generation of etching species -Without generating the etching species etching will not proceed •Diffusion to surfaces -etching species must get to the surface to react with the thin or substrate molecules -the mechanics of getting to the surface can limit aspect ratio. uniformity •Adsorption -can also effect aspect ratio •Reaction: -strong function of temperature (Arrhenius relationship) -obviously effect the etch rate •Desorption -can stop etch if the reacted species is not volatile •Diffusion to bulk gas The slowest dominates !!! -can lead to non-uniform etching due to dilution of un-reacted etching species . undercuttig.

Gas adsorbs on the surface. diassociates. and then reacts Xenon Difluoride Etching XeF2 Adsorb Xe + 2 F •Particular features of XeF2 etching -extremely selective -fast etch rate -isotropic .Gas Phase Etch Reactive Gas .

•A plasma is produced when an electric field of sufficient magnitude is applied to a gas. . causing the gas to break down and become ionized.RF-Plasma-Based Dry Etching •A plasma is fully or partially ionized gas composed of equal numbers of positive and negative charges and a different number of unionized molecules.

Cl2 O2. CO2.. Mo.. CCL4. SiCl4 AlCl3. NF3 Cl2.. SF6. H2O. Si3N4 Si Al Organics other: (W. HF WF6. SiCl4. CCl2F2 BCl3. .) Etch Gases CF4. O2 + CF4 CF4 Etch Products SiF4 SiCl2.Dry Etch Chemistries Materials Si. Al2Cl6 CO. SiO2. Ta.

reasonably good selectivity. and moderate bombardment-induced damage. sputtering etch) -mechanical/physical interaction -positive ions are accelerated and strike substrate with high kinetic energy.Methods of Dry Etching Physical etching: (e.g. which leads to material removal -negative ions cannot reach the wafer and therefore plays no role in the etching -Highly anisotropic and Low Selectivity (physical) (chemical) Chemical etching: -neutral or/and ionized species interact (physical & with the material’s surface to form chemical) volatile products -High product volatility is important so that the reaction product would not coat the surface and prevent further etching -Isotropic & High Selectivity Combinations of Chemical and Physical Etching -Anisotropic profile. some energy is then transferred to surface atoms. .

Types of Dry Etching Processes Types of Etching Methods Geometry Selectivity Excitation Energy Pressure High (760-1torr) Medium (>100 mtorr) Low (10-100 mtorr) Low (~10 mtorr) Gas/vapor Etching Chemical Isotropic Very high none Plasma Etching Chemical Isotropic High 10's to 100's of Watts Reactive ion Etching Chemical & Directional Physical Physical Directional Fair 100's of Watts Sputtering Etching Low 100's to 1000's of Watts ( 1 torr = 1 mmHg) .

Degree of Anisotropy Degree of Anisotropy l Rt R = 1− 1 = 1− 1 hf Rv t Rv Af ≡ 1 − •For isotropic etching: Rl = Rv and Af = 0 For anisotropic etching: Rl = 0 and Af = 1 .

Dry Etching Si/SiO2 in F-Based Gases and Plasmas •Prominent etch chemistry in ICs & MEMS •CF4 does not etch Si (does not chemisorb) but F2 gas will etch Si with etch products SiF2 and SiF4 •Plasma is needed to generate F that must penetrate SiF2-like surface .

Dependence of Etch Rate and Si/SiO2 Selectivity on O2 /CF4 Ratio Even with plasma the etch rate is slow -insufficient F concentration Adding O2 to the plasma can increase F concentration O + CF3 COF2 + F then O+COF2 CO2 + 2F •Etch rate maximizes around 12% O2 •Etch rate decreases at higher O2 concentrations -Dilution of F concentration with overly abundant O2 -Trend is similar for SiO2 •Etch rate is higher for Si •Si/SiO2 selectivity is good •Isotropic etching .

Dependence of Etch Rate and SiO2/Si Selectivity on H2 /CF4 Ratio •Adding H2 drastically lowers Si etch rate -lowers F concentration (H+ + F +eHF) -Nearly 0 at 40% H2 •However. etch rate of SiO2 remains nearly constant •Allows etch selectivity to be increased tremendously •Mechanism for increased selectivity has two components -deposition of a non-volatile residue -role of O2 in etching of SiO2 .

As a result. but the ion velocity is nearly vertical. as the etching proceeds there is little ion bombardment of the sidewalls and the fluorocarbon film accumulates •Adding hydrogen encourages the formation of the fluorocarbon films because hydrogen scavenge fluorine. creating a carbon-rich plasma (same thing happened when C2F6 is used instead of CF4 ) •Less accumulation is observed on SiO2 than Si surfaces •Tradeoff between Si/SiO2 selectivity and Anisotropy .Increase of Degree of Anisotropy Formation of Sidewall Passivating Films •Formation of nonvalatile fluorocarbons that deposit on the surfaces (Polymerization) •The deposit can only be removed by physical collisions with incident ions •Fluorocarbon films deposits on all surfaces.

Controlling Polymerization through F/C-Ratio •Higher F/C-ratio leads to more etching •Lower F/C-ratio leads to more polymerization •Can be determined by the gas used •Adding H2 consumes F – leads to polymerization •Adding O2 consumes C – leads to etching .

Dry Etching Organic Films •O2 plasmas can remove organic films with high selectivity •Adding CF4 can increase etch rate and lowers variation -but selectivity can be reduced if too much is added etch rate % etch rate variation % CF4 added O2 Etch rate of Ploymide (um/min) % variation of etch rate .

•Hydrogen may penetrate several microns into the surface where it can deactivate dopants in the substrate.Damage in Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) •Typical ion flux of 1015 ions/cm2 are delivered at energies of 300 to 700 eV in a RIE. •After a typical etch in a carbon containing RIE. . •RIE processes done in a hydrogencontaining ambient also have Si-H defects that can be observed as deep as 300 Å. the top 30 Å is heavily damaged. with an extensive concentration of Si-C bonds.