Low Bias Dry Etching of Sic and Sicn in ICP NF3 Discharges


A parametric study of the etching characteristics of 6H p+ and n+ SiC and thin film SiC0.8N0.2 in Inductively Coupled Plasma NF3/O2 and NF3/Ar discharges has been performed. The etch rates in both chemistries increase monotonically with NF3 percentage and rf chuck power reaching 3500Å·min−1 for SiC and 7500 Å·min−1 for SiCN. The etch rates go through a maximum with increasing ICP source power, which is explained by a trade-off between the increasing ion flux and the decreasing ion energy. The anisotropy of the etched features is also a function of ion flux, ion energy and atomic fluorine neutral concentration. Indium-tinoxide(ITO) masks display relatively good etch selectivity over SiC(maximum of 70:1) while photoresist etches more rapidly than SiC. The surface roughness of SiC is essentially independent of plasma composition for NF3/O2 discharges, while extensive surface degradation occurs for SiCN under high NF3:O2 conditions. The high ion flux available in the ICP tool allows etching even at very low dc self-biases, ≤ −10V, leading to very low damage pattern transfer.

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Wang, J.J., Cho, H., Lambers, E.S. et al. Low Bias Dry Etching of Sic and Sicn in ICP NF3 Discharges. MRS Online Proceedings Library 512, 507–512 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-512-507

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