Section 3: Etching. Jaeger Chapter 2 Reader

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1 Section 3: Etching Jaeger Chapter 2 Reader

2 Etch rate Etch Process - Figures of Merit Etch rate uniformity Selectivity Anisotropy

3 d m Bias and anisotropy etching mask h f substrate d f d m substrate d f film Bias B d d f m Complete Isotropic Etching Vertical Etching = Lateral Etching Rate B = 2 h f Complete Anisotropic Etching Lateral Etching rate = 0 B = 0

4 Degree of Anisotropy r lat : lateral etch rate r ver : vertical etch rate A f : degree of isotropy A f 0 1 A f r r lat ver 1 isotropic anisotropic

5 Etching Selectivity S S AB = r r A B ( vertical ( vertical etching etching velocity velocity of of materal materal A) B) Wet Etching S is controlled by: chemicals, concentration, temperature RIE S is controlled by: plasma parameters, plasma chemistry, gas pressure, flow rate & temperature.

6 Selectivity Example SiO 2 Si SiO 2 /Si etched by HF solution S SiO2, Si Selectivity is very large ( ~ infinity) SiO 2 /Si etched by RIE (e.g. CF 4 plasma) S SiO2, Si Selectivity is finite ( ~ 10 )

7 Uniformity (a) Film thickness variation across wafer h f h ( max) = f ( 1+δ ) Nominal thickness Thickness variation factor The variation factor δ is dictated by the deposition method, deposition equipment, and manufacturing practice. (b) Film etching rate variation r f ( ) ( min) = rf 1 φ f Worst case etching time required to etch the = h r f f ( max) ( min) = h r f f ( 1+ δ ) ( 1 φ ) f variation factor film

8 Wet Etching Reactant transport to surface Selective and controlled reaction of etchant with the film to be etched Transport of by-products away from surface

9 Wet Etching (cont.) Wet etch processes are generally isotropic Etch rate is governed by temperature, concentration, chemicals, etc. Wet etch processes can be highly selective Acids are commonly used for etching: HNO 3 <=> H + + NO 3 - HF <=> H + + F - H + is a strong oxidizing agent => high reactivity of acids

10 (1) Silicon Dioxide To etch SiO 2 film on Si, use HF + H 2 O Wet Etch Processes Etch rate (A/min) 6:1 BOE SiO 2 + 6HF H 2 + SiF 6 + 2H 2 O T( o C) Note: HF is usually buffered with NH 4 F to maintain [H + ] at a constant level (for constant etch rate). This HF buffer is called Buffered Oxide Etch (BOE) NH 4 F NH 3 + HF

11 Wet Etch Processes (cont.) (2) Silicon Nitride To etch Si 3 N 4 film on SiO 2, use H 3 PO 4 (phosphoric acid) (180 o C: ~100 A/min etch rate) Typical selectivities: 10:1 for nitride over oxide 30:1 for nitride over Si

12 Wet Etch Processes (cont.) (3) Aluminum To etch Al film on Si or SiO 2, use H 3 PO 4 + CH 3 COOH + HNO 3 + H 2 O (phosphoric acid) (acetic acid) (nitric acid) (~30 o C) 6H + + 2Al 3H 2 + 2Al 3+ (Al 3+ is water-soluble)

13 Wet Etch Processes (cont.) (4) Silicon (i) Isotropic etching Use HF + HNO 3 + H 2 O 3Si + 4HNO 3 3SiO 2 + 4NO + 2H 2 O 3SiO HF 3H 2 SiF 6 + 6H 2 O (ii) Anisotropic etching (e.g. KOH, EDP) for single crystalline Si

14 Drawbacks of Wet Etching Lack of anisotropy Poor process control Excessive particulate contamination => Wet etching used for noncritical feature sizes

15 Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) RF MHz ~ plasma wafers Parallel-Plate Reactor Plasma generates (1) Ions (2) Activated neutrals Enhance chemical reaction

16 Remote Plasma Reactors Plasma Sources (1) Transformer Coupled Plasma (TCP) (2) Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) plasma -bias e.g. quartz coils wafers Pressure pump1mtorr 10mTorr bias~ 1kV

17 RIE Etching Sequence gas flow 1 5 diffusion of reactant 2 3 X absorption Substrate diffusion of by product desorption 4 chemical reaction gaseous by products

18 Volatility of Etching Product * Higher vapor pressure higher volatility e. g. Si + 4F SiF4 * (high vapor pressure) e. g. Cu + Cl CuCl ( low vapor pressure ) Example Difficult to RIE Al-Cu alloy with high Cu content

19 Examples For etching Si Use CF 4 gas CF 4 Si + 4F + e CF * + 3 SiF 4 + F * + 2e F* are Fluorine radicals (highly reactive, but neutral) Aluminum CCl 4 Al+ 3Cl + e CCl * + 3 AlCl 3 + Cl * + 2e Photoresist C H O x y z + O 2 CO x HO x

20 How to Control Anisotropy? 1) ionic bombardment to damage expose surface. 2) sidewall coating by inhibitor prevents sidewall etching.

21 How to Control Selectivity? E.g. SiO 2 etching in CF 4 +H 2 plasma Rates Reason: F * Si + SiO2 H SiF %H 2 in (CF 4 +H 2 ) 4 S HF F * S Rate SiO2 = Rate Si H 2 % content Si P.R. SiO2

22 Example: Si etching in CF4+O2 mixture Reason: Rates 1 Si 2 (1) O + CF (2) Si + O COF SiO + F F * increases Si etching 2 x 2 x * rate rate %O 2 in CF 4 Poly-Si Oxide

23 Example: RIE of Aluminum Lines * It is a three-step sequence : 1) Remove native oxide with BCl 3 2) Etch Al with Cl-based plasma 3) Protect fresh Al surface with thin oxidation 2 Cl 2 -based RIE 1 BCl 3 P.R. native Al 2 O 3 Al 3 Form oxide again (gently) Al Al

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