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Reactive Ion Etching Process to Obtain Smooth Etched Surface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117093D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Wu, CT: AUTHOR

Abstract

Air bearing rails are defined by reactive ion etching Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) using SF sub 6 and CHF sub 3 , either individually or in a mixture. For positive pressure air bearing designs (etch depth gtequiv 15 mu m ), surface roughness caused by differential etching of Al sub 2 O sub 3 and T sub i C is not a concern. However, for shallow etch products, surface roughness is a big concern.

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Reactive Ion Etching Process to Obtain Smooth Etched Surface

      Air bearing rails are defined by reactive ion etching Reactive
Ion Etching (RIE) using SF sub 6  and CHF sub 3 , either individually
or in a mixture.  For positive pressure air bearing designs (etch
depth  gtequiv 15 mu m ), surface roughness caused by differential
etching of Al sub 2  O sub 3 and T sub i  C is not a concern.
However,
for shallow etch products, surface roughness is a big concern.

      By balancing chemical etching and physical sputtering during
RIE, a smooth etched surface can be obtained.  Ion milling can also
generate a smooth etched surface by purely physical sputtering;
however, redeposition becomes a problem.

      By mixing Ar (for physical sputtering etch) and CHF sub 3 (for
chemical etch), a smooth etched surface can be obtained with little
or no redeposition.  Other gases, such as Xe, Kr, etc., can be used
as the physical sputtering agent and other chemicals such as SF sub
6, CF sub 4, etc. can be used as the chemical etching agent.  The
goal is to balance the physical and chemical etch to obtain a smooth
etched surface with no or little redeposition.

      With the proposed RIE method, the surface roughness obtained is
not sensitive to substrate materials.