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Smoothing the Surface of Multi-Phase Materials

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034758D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bayer, T: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

By utilizing the inverted preferential etching effect during reactive ion etching (RIE) and by using a structured cathode, it is possible to produce smooth surfaces on multi-phase materials. The cathode used for this purpose may consist of several components with defined surface portions. Alternatively, different cathodes may be used for the sequential execution of the process steps. It is known that the individual components of a multi-component material have different etch rates during dry etching (RIE or plasma). An initially polished substrate is roughened by preferential etching, with the roughness increasing proportional to the etch time.

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Smoothing the Surface of Multi-Phase Materials

By utilizing the inverted preferential etching effect during reactive ion etching (RIE) and by using a structured cathode, it is possible to produce smooth surfaces on multi-phase materials. The cathode used for this purpose may consist of several components with defined surface portions. Alternatively, different cathodes may be used for the sequential execution of the process steps. It is known that the individual components of a multi-component material have different etch rates during dry etching (RIE or plasma). An initially polished substrate is roughened by preferential etching, with the roughness increasing proportional to the etch time. During the dry etching of ceramic or ferrite materials, which are used, for example, for magnetic head sliders, this roughness impairs the production process to such an extent that process monitoring on the roughened surface, if at all possible, can only be effected with in- sufficient accuracy. However, for meeting the process requirements, such monitoring is indispensible. During reactive ion etching with CF4, a TiC/Al2O3 ceramic is normally positioned on an SiO2 cathode, with the TiC being preferentially removed. When Ti was used as a cathode material, it was surprisingly found that there was an inversion of preferential etching, i.e., that Al2O3 was etched more strongly than TiC. Partial or complete inversion permits adjusting a particular surface roughness, thus improving...