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Browse Prior Art Database

Reactive Thermal Etching

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102052D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hodgson, RT: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of etching materials anisotropically, with minimal contamination and damage under ultra-high vacuum conditions.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Reactive Thermal Etching

       Disclosed is a method of etching materials
anisotropically, with minimal contamination and damage under
ultra-high vacuum conditions.

      It is an accepted fact that the available etching processes for
most materials are generally detrimental to the material properties
for one reason or another.  For example, high energy processes, such
as ion milling and sputtering, leave a damaged region near the
surface of the patterned material, while low energy processes, such
as chemical etching, result in surfaces which are contaminated by
exposure to the etchant and to ambient gas.  Reactive ion etching
results in surfaces that are both damaged AND contaminated.  It is,
therefore, desirable, particularly in the area of semiconductor
device fabrication, to develop etching processes that alleviate this
problem, particularly those which can be performed in situ within a
vacuum system, so being compatible with material regrowth and the
formation of nearly ideal interfaces.

      One viable technique is that of thermally etching the material
directly.  Under UHV conditions, this has been shown to yield clean,
low-damage surfaces with anisotropic etching.  Unfortunately, this
requires that the material be sufficiently volatile that it can be
etched directly.

      An alternative is the general process called Reactive Thermal
Etching (RTE), whereby an incident beam or beams, such as those used
in MBE, is made incident on a non-volatile substrate, so that a
surface reaction occurs between the beam constituent(s) and the
substrate producing a volatile product that is removed thermally.  It
is possible or even likely that the volatile reaction product is only
volatile for sub-monolayer coverages, so the reaction/removal rates
should be balanced so that stabile layers of the reaction product do
not form.

      A sample case is that of reactive thermal etching of Si. It is
known that monolayers of SiO...