Wafer and die level uniformity effects in Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) are quantitatively modeled and characterized. A two-level etching model has been developed to predict non-uniformities in high-speed rotating microstructures. The separation of wafer level and die level effects is achieved by sequentially etching wafers with uniformly distributed holes. The wafer level loadings range from 0.06% to 17.6%. Resulting wafer maps reflect the transition from an ion-limited region to a neutral-transport limited region. Additionally, long-range die-level interactions are also evaluated. Resulting die-level etching non-uniformities have a comparable magnitude to wafer-level effects. A model taking into account both the diffusion and reaction rate of neutrals is applied to predict the etching of up to 21 dies. Agreement between measurement and prediction support the hypothesis that the depletion of radicals is the main cause of die-level etch variation. The characterization and prediction methods are applied to etching a micro-scale turbine engine.
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Sun, H., Hill, T., Schmidt, M. et al. Characterization and Modeling of Wafer and Die Level Uniformity in Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE). MRS Online Proceedings Library 782, 102 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-782-A10.2