This paper describes a technique for dry etching SiO2 layers in MEMS technologies without the moving elements sticking. Etching the sacrificial SiO2 in anhydrous HF (hydrofluoric acid in the gas phase) allows avoiding the subsequent complex operations of cleaning and drying, which are mandatory in the case of liquid etching. Using the HF/C2H5OH anhydrous mixture under low pressures makes it possible to prevent water condensation, which is due to etching in HF vapor, and allows one to employ gas-phase etching in surface MEMS technologies. The mechanisms and physicochemical processes taking place when etching thermal SiO2 are discussed. The rate of etching thermal SiO2 films is investigated at temperatures ranging from 30 to 50°С and under chamber pressures ranging from 10 to 20 kPa.
Russian Microelectronics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2017
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