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Published January 10, 2013 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Formation of nanoscale structures by inductively coupled plasma etching


This paper will review the top down technique of ICP etching for the formation of nanometer scale structures. The increased difficulties of nanoscale etching will be described. However it will be shown and discussed that inductively coupled plasma (ICP) technology is well able to cope with the higher end of the nanoscale: features from 100nm down to about 40nm are relatively easy with current ICP technology. It is the ability of ICP to operate at low pressure yet with high plasma density and low (controllable) DC bias that helps greatly compared to simple reactive ion etching (RIE) and, though continual feature size reduction is increasingly challenging, improvements to ICP technology as well as improvements in masking are enabling sub-10nm features to be reached. Nanoscale ICP etching results will be illustrated in a range of materials and technologies. Techniques to facilitate etching (such as the use of cryogenic temperatures) and techniques to improve the mask performance will be described and illustrated.

Additional Information

© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). C.C.W. gratefully acknowledges Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology for the opportunity to do and compile the work. Also I would like to thank all the contributors to this review. Please note Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

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