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Oxidizable areas uncovered during oxygen plasma patterning of (poly) para-xylylene film are protected by photoresist where oxidation might become a source of problems.
English (United States)
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Protection of Underlying Structure in the Parylene or Polymer Patterning
Oxidizable areas uncovered during oxygen plasma patterning of (poly) para-
xylylene film are protected by photoresist where oxidation might become a
source of problems.
Para-xylylene polymer (parylene) thin films may be used as insulating or
passivating coatings. The usage of the material sometimes requires that it be
patterned in proper dimensions by oxygen plasma etching. After the end-point
detection, the etching process usually continues for a certain amount of time
(depending on the etch rate) to ensure complete etch-through for all areas. The
underlying layer in the area of the developed hole, therefore, is exposed to the
oxygen plasma. In many applications, this exposure to oxygen plasma does not
impose any problem because the oxygen plasma usually does very little physical
damage to the surface. However, there may be applications where this exposure
is not desirable; the base material may be a metal layer and another metal layer
is to make contact through a hole developed through the parylene film. The
oxygen plasma can grow a thick layer of metal oxide; an additional oxide-removal
process has to be implemented prior to the deposition of the contact. There may
also be cases where the underlying material interacts with the oxygen plasma. In
these situations, it is desirable that the underlying layer not be exposed to the
The other problem associated with etching polymers in oxygencontaining
plasma is the possible backscattering of mask or electrodematerial onto the
unmasked polymer. If the backscattered material has a much lower etch rate,
then the backscattered material acts like a mask, causing residue to be left in the
etched area, or causing incomplet...