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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Imagine a System and Processing Equipment for deep Etching with a Double Etch Rate


Assessment of advanced prototype of MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) etching tool for deep reactive ion etching of silicon at extremely high etch-rates. The process and hardware limiting factors will be identified and hardware upgrades, which overcome these limits, installed during the course of the project. The goal is to qualify new MEMS etching equipment of at least double the etch rate compared to existing tools and superior performance with respect to other key parameters, like uniformity, profile control, CD-loss (Critical Dimension-loss) of the etched structures, repeatability, MTBF (Meantime between Failure), Up-Time of the equipment and reliability. To achieve this, a prototype-etching tool will be installed at the node site where the assessment is being performed. The equipment supplier is supporting the evaluation work and providing hardware upgrade parts and installation services to the node. Results of the assessment will be immediately transferred to existing production equipment.

Assessment of advanced prototype for high-rate deep reactive ion etching tool for silicon micromachining. Identification of the limiting factors for process and equipment. Qualification of hardware upgrades to achieve superior etch performance. At least double the etch-rate of existing advanced prototype tool from 4 µm/min to 8 µm/min. Improve uniformity across wafer area by a factor of 2. Improve profile angle off-vertical deviation by a factor of 2. Improve profile form to rectangular bottom type profile. Reduce edge exclusion zone of the wafer from 10 mm to 5 mm by implementation of an electrostatic chuck as substrate holder. Improve items for the equipment like MTBF (meantime between failure), Uptime, Cleaning Cycle Period, Cleaning time, and wafer handling mechanism typically by a factor of 2.

Work description:
Assessment of advanced prototype for high-rate deep reactive ion etching tool for silicon micromachining:

Installation of Semiconductor Equipment Assessment-Prototype at the node site is accomplished within the first 5 months of the project. Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for initial specification at the node site to make sure that the performance of the installed prototype is sufficiently high to start the assessment work. Definition of an evaluation matrix and corresponding test procedures to analyse all relevant prototype tool performance parameters necessary to qualify the tool and identify problem zones or limiting factors. During assessment phase I, this evaluation matrix and corresponding test strategy is used for qualification of the prototype and identification of problems or process and equipment limiting factors. In an implementation phase I, the results of assessment phase I are implemented in the form of hardware upgrades which are installed to the prototype tool. An assessment phase II follows to characterize and qualify the upgraded prototype tool and to recognize still existing deficits with respect to the final specification and project goal. Results from this assessment phase II lead to final upgrades and improvements necessary to achieve the final specification and project goal, which undergo a subsequent final evaluation phase where they are again qualified and fully characterized with special emphasis on the final specification. A final report summarizes the results of the project and the achievements with respect to the specified project goals. The final report will also give information on whether identified and still existing performance limitations are of a principal nature, or suggests approaches towards a possible solution as an input to the equipment supplier for future development work after the Semiconductor Equipment Assessment-Project has ended. Dissemination actions, like presentations at conferences (e.g. EUROSENSORS, NEXUS meetings) and web page information are accompanying the project. In addition, it is planned to install regular User-meetings linked to trade fairs like SEMICON to update the users community on new achievements.


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