RIE 2: Methane / Hydrogen-Based System

Equipment Description:
RIE #2 Methane / Hydrogen-Based System

Materials Research Corporation (MRC)
(Tokyo Electron Arizona)
2120 West Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona 85233
Telephone: (800) 342-5672
Fax: (602) 507-3109






General Information and Usage:

This is a Materials Research Corporation RIE-51 parallel plate, 13.56 Mhz system used primarily for the etching of InP with CH4/H2/Ar gases, although it can be used to etch As- and Sb-based III-V compounds and a variety of II-VI semiconductors as well. For Al-containing compounds and II-VI compounds, high bias power is required. Tool features include: six inch diameter water cooled cathode/substrate platform, pyrex cylinder for plasma confinement and gas flow control, adjustable cathode-anode spacing, fixed bias or power control and HeNe laser etch monitor with chart recorder. It is diffusion pumped and has no loadlock. Various etching applications have included: in-plane lasers/facets, InP-based HBTs, FET gate recessing, InP-based quantum microcavities, Bragg-Fresnel x-ray lenses and waveguides.

RIE of InP and related compounds can be achieved with a hydride-based process chemistry of methane/hydrogen with an etching mechanism due to a "reverse" metalorganic CVD reaction. Because both etching and deposition occur simultaneously, it is important to use the proper gas flows and to periodically remove any polymer reaction by-products deposited on the non-etched (mask) surfaces. (This system has an additional flow circuit in order to bleed in small amounts, <1 sccm, of O2). Alternatively, one can perform cyclic etching between MHA and O2 to keep polymer formation to a minimum. With this technique selectivity is quite high and anisotropic etching can be achieved. While a metal, dielectric or photoresist may be used as a mask, photoresist should only be used at low bias voltages in order to avoid mask pattern distortions due to reflow. A precoat etch should be done before etching to condition the chamber.


Detailed Specifications:

  • Etch gases include: CH4, H2, Ar and O2
  • Low 1 E -6 ultimate chamber pressure
  • 13.56 Mhz excitation frequency
  • Sample size limited to approximately 2 inches
  • HeNe and IR laser monitoring for endpoint
  • Automatic tuning network
  • DC Bias or RF power control
  • Masking materials include: Ni, SiON, photoresist (limited to low bias/power)
  • Typical etch conditions for InGaAsP:
    • 75 mT (CH4/H2/Ar : 4/20/10 sccm)
    • 450v bias
    • ~ 45 nm/min. etch rate


Contact Information:

For additional information regarding the RIE #2 Methane / Hydrogen-Based System or if you would like to inquire about using the UCSB Nanofabrication Facility, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the telephone number or e-mail address below. 


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Phone: (805) 893-3918 ext. 213
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