Inductively Coupled Plasma etching of amorphous silicon nanostructures over nanotopography using C4F8/SF6 chemistry

Microelectronic Engineering,  13 March 2013
Patrick Harvey-Collard, Abdelatif Jaouad, Dominique Drouin, Michel Pioro-Ladrière

Département de physique, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1K 2R1

Département de génie électrique et de génie informatique, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1K 2R1

 

Abstract

 

Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) etching of amorphous silicon (a-Si) nanostructures using a continuous C4F8/SF6 plasma over nanotopography in silicon dioxide (SiO2) is investigated. The coil power of the ICP system is used to tune the a-Si etch rate from 20 to 125 nm/min. The etch rates of a-Si, SiO2 and electroresist are measured depending on the SF6 ratio, platen power and chamber pressure and used to optimize the a-Si:SiO2 etch selectivity. The results on nanostructures show that the presence of an insulating etch-stop layer affects the passivation ratio required to achieve vertical sidewalls. A low pressure is also necessary in order to etch the silicon nanostructure embedded into the oxide nanotrenches to form a highly conformable a-Si nanowire. We argue that both of these behaviors could be explained by surface charging effects. Finally, etching of 20 nm a-Si nanowires that cross 15 nm trenches in oxide with vertical sidewalls and a 4.3:1 a-Si:SiO2 etch selectivity is demonstrated. This etching process can be used in applications where nanotopography is present such as Single Electron Transistors or multigate transistors.

 

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Inductively Coupled Plasma

 

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