Plasma Processing of Thin Films [Part I and II]
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Fabrication of devices and structures for integrated circuits, sensors, photonics, and MEMS/NEMS requires layers of patterned thin films. For nearly all film materials, patterns are generated by lithographic processes, followed by plasma etching. Plasmas or glow discharges are ionized gases that contain electrons, ions, neutral species and photons that promote chemical reactions and ensure that anisotropic etch profiles can be obtained. This tutorial will discuss the fundamental physics and chemistry of plasmas, plasma reactor configurations, unique properties of plasmas that allow thin film processing for a variety of applications, and approaches to control etch rates, profiles, and etch selectivity.