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Reduced product charging in a sputter etch process by soft switch off Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015280D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Dec-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

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Modern thin film technology products like chips or GMR read/write heads are highly sensitive to charging defects. This results in ESD damages, electric shorts and low efficiency. There are many possibilities of charging during process. Especially, all plasma processes have to be regarded as critical steps. The plasma contains a lot of charge and if electrons or ions are transferred to the product surface in an uncontrolled way strong ESD damages are expected. Here in disclosed are new findings about the charging mechanism during a plasma process. The results can be used to modify sputter etch processes in that direction, that the charging risk is reduced. Switching off the RF-generator can be the most critical step of a sputter etch process in terms of charging effects. The experimental results show a clear dependence of wafer charging and RF power before switch off (see below). 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200