Plasma and Characterization

Minerals and Materials Engineering Building (M&M) 431

The etching and characterization room contains a suite of tools for dry etching and characterization of samples. This includes three dry etchers with a range of capabilities, while characterization tools include an ellipsometer, FTIR, and wafer curvature system. This room also has the following resources:

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Cleanroom wipes
  • Dry nitrogen gun
  • Fume hood

Dry Etch Systems

Chemical Assisted Ion Beam Etcher (CAIBE)

The CAIBE uses a microwave source (2.45 MHz) to generate a high-density plasma which promotes anisotropic etching due to physical milling with argon. Currently only argon is connected to the system, but the addition of other gases would allow for chemical assisted etching to increase the rate and selectivity of the etch.

Process Gases

  • Argon
Chemical Assisted Ion Beam Etcher—CAIBE
Chemical Assisted Ion Beam Etcher—CAIBE
CAIBE Diagram

Trion Technology Phantom II

The Trion ICP/RIE Etch PHTII-4301 (TRION) is a reactive ion etcher with the addition of a inductively coupled plasma to achieve a high density plasma for enhanced anisotropic etching. This system is limited to non-metal samples and currently is used for the etching of silicon oxide, silicon and descumming samples before metal deposition. It can process wafers up to 10 inches.

Available Gases

  • Oxygen
  • Trifluoromethane (CHF3)
  • Tetrafluoromethane (CF4)
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6)
Trion Technology Phantom II
Trion Technology Phantom II

March Jupiter II RIE

The March Jupiter II is a reactive ion etcher. Samples containing metals can be etched in this system.

Available Gases

  • Argon
  • Oxygen
  • Trifluoromethane (CHF3)
  • Tetrafluoromethane (CF4)
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6)
March Jupiter II RIE
March Jupiter II RIE

Characterization Systems

J.A. Woollam VASE Ellipsometer

Ellipsometry is a sensitive measurement system that helps to characterize the microstructure of a thin film or a bulk material. The ellipsometer is also used to measure the thickness and optical constant of a material.

Possible Measurements

  • Optical constant
  • Thin film thickness
  • Doping concentration
  • Surface roughness
  • Alloy ratio
  • Crystallinity
  • Optical anisotropy
  • Depth profile of material properties
  • Growth or etch rate
J.A. Woollam VASE Ellipsometer

Wafer Curvature System (Non-calibrated)

The wafer curvature system uses a laser to scan the reflection angle of the surface to determine the curvature of the wafer. This system can measure wafers up to 8 inches.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

FTIR is used to obtain an infrared spectrum of absorption or emission from a sample. This can give information about the surface termination or contamination that may be present on a silicon wafer.