Process for Patterning SiC by Reactive Ion Etching
Original Publication Date: 1980-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-13
Sputter deposited silicon carbide (SiC) has been found to have a wear resistance equivalent to that of sapphire (Al(2)O(3)) when used as an overcoating layer in a simulated thin film head structure. Silicon carbide is an appropriate material for the gap and overcoating layers in wear resistant thin film heads. However, silicon carbide is not used for this purpose because inherent difficulties in etching SiC preclude the forming of appropriate patterns and contact openings. (Typical etchants for SiC are molten alkalis or borax, Cl(2)-O(2), at 900 degrees C and above, and H above 1,600 degrees C.) This article shows that SiC can be readily etched by reactive ion etching in CF and describes a process by which high resolution patterns can be formed in the SiC.