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High-Resolution Plasma Etching in Semiconductor Technology : Fundamentals, Processing and Equipment

Objective

It is widely recognised within the electronics industry that plasma etching will play a vital role in achieving submicron technology, both in silicon and IIIVsemiconductor systems. The objective of this project was to gain a better understanding, by applying suitable diagnostics methods, of the complex chemistry and physics involved in plasma etching so that the knowledge gained could be applied to the manufacture of improved equipment and to process realisation.
The objective of this project was to gain a better understanding, by applying suitable diagnostics methods, of the complex chemistry and physics involved in plasma etching so that the knowledge gained could be applied to the manufacture of improved equipment and to process realisation. The first part of the work was devoted to the development of measurement instrumentation and to equipment setup. In particular, an optical emission spectrometer and a quadrupole mass spectrometer were installed in a reaction chamber in order to detect the chemical species created when the etching reaction takes place. A reactive ion etching process was successfully established for a 0.5 micron structure size.
The first part of the work was devoted to the development of measurement instrumentation and to equipment setup. In particular, an optical emission spectrometer and a quadrupole mass spectrometer were installed in a reaction chamber in order to detect thechemical species created when the etching reaction takes place. A reactive ion etching process was successfully established for a 0.5micron structure size.
Exploitation
The study of the reaction kinetics paves the way for an improved etching process to be designed which can be utilised as a term of reference by other industries because of the widespread research work. Already, as a result of this project, an advanced three-chamber plasma etching machine has been produced by one of the partners. This equipment is capable of processing 200 mm2 wafers with ICs designed with 0.5micron structure size. A prototype was shown at the Produktronika 87Fair in Munich, and commercialisation is expected. However, additional and upto-date etching processes are still needed for full exploitation of the machine's capabilities.
The new optical spectrum analyser (including software) developed by Monolight is undergoing commercialisation.

Coordinator

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderungder Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Address
Dillenburgerstrasse
14199 Berlin
Germany

Participants (4)

Johnson Matthey plc
United Kingdom
Address
Orchard Road
SG8 5HE Royston
LEYBOLD HERAEUS GMBH
Germany
Address
Siemensstrasse 100
8755 Alzenau
Mono Light Instruments Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
2-3 Waterside
KT15 2SN Weybridge
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
United Kingdom
Address
Harwell Laboratory
OX11 0RA Didcot