Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE)

The anisotropic deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) is performed using an Alcatel A601e inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch system. The Alcatel utilizes two gases during the etch process which are Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and Octafluorocyclobutane (C4F8, C318). This anisotropic etch does produce some scallops on the side walls and bowing due to the alternating etch and passivation process sequence. The Alcatel is capable of etching high aspect ratios with geometries as small as one μm using a photo resist mask. The aspect ratio is defined as the ratio between the depth and width of a feature. The silicon can be etched over a cavity or an oxide interface. The Alcatel etch rate is typically 20 μm/minute or less depending on the geometry width.

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