Etching of high aspect ratio features in Si using SF 6/O 2/HBr and SF 6/O 2/Cl 2 plasma

Sergi Gomez, Rodolfo Jun Belen, Mark Kiehlbauch, Eray S. Aydil

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14 Scopus citations


We have investigated the etching of high aspect ratio holes (∼4 μm deep, ∼0.2 μm diameter) in silicon using plasmas maintained in mixtures of S F6, O2, and HBr or Cl2 gases. The etching experiments were conducted in a low pressure (25 mTorr), high density, inductively coupled plasma etching reactor with a planar coil. Visualization of the profiles with scanning electron microscopy is used in conjunction with plasma diagnostics such as optical emission and mass spectroscopies to understand the key factors that control the feature profile shape and etch rate. HBr addition to S F6 O2 mixture reduces the F-to-O ratio, increases sidewall passivation and reduces mask undercut. Addition of Cl2 to S F6 O2 discharge also decreases the F-to-O ratio, but Cl-enhanced F chemical etching of silicon significantly increases the mask undercut and lateral etching. In both S F6 O2 HBr and S F6 O2 Cl2 mixtures, reduction of O2 flow rate and subsequent increase of the halogen-to-O ratio eventually results in significant lateral etching because of the lack of oxygen required to form a siliconoxyhalide passivating film on the sidewalls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1592-1597
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the University of California Discovery Program (SM01-10079 and ele03-10156) and Lam Research Corporation. This research has been made possible in part by a grant from the Lam Research Foundation at Community Foundation Silicon Valley.


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