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Synergistic etch rates during low-energetic plasma etching of hydrogenated amorphous carbon
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10.1063/1.4730924
/content/aip/journal/jap/112/1/10.1063/1.4730924
http://aip.metastore.ingenta.com/content/aip/journal/jap/112/1/10.1063/1.4730924

Figures

Image of FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

The release of a methyl group from the carbon network, i.e., a-C:H, is thermally activated. Moreover, energy gains from relaxation of the carbon network give rise to a low activation energy with respect to the binding energy. In ion-assisted chemical erosion, this activation energy can be provided for by an ion hitting the surface.

Image of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

Schematic cross-section of the reactor.

Image of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.

Ion and radical flux in a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs, 60 A). Ion flux measurements are taken with a capacitive probe, at the position of the sample. The highest ion flux can be found at 33 Pa. Radical fluxes are estimated from previous work.80

Image of FIG. 4.
FIG. 4.

An a-C:H sample is exposed to a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs, 60 A, 46 Pa) at a constant substrate temperature of 241 °C. (a) The fit quality of a B-spline model with variable void fraction, (b) void fraction of the roughness layer, (c) the roughness, (d) thickness, and (e) etch rate of the sample.

Image of FIG. 5.
FIG. 5.

Cross-sectional SEM images of an a-C:H sample (a) as-deposited and (b) after exposure to a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs, 60 A, 100 Pa). An increase in roughness and decrease in thickness can clearly be observed.

Image of FIG. 6.
FIG. 6.

AFM image of an a-C:H sample (a) as-deposited and (b) after exposure to a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs, 60 A, 100 Pa). The plasma exposure has changed the morphology from bump-like features to more peaked features.

Image of FIG. 7.
FIG. 7.

Etch rate in a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs H, 60 A). An activation energy is derived from the different fit lines.

Image of FIG. 8.
FIG. 8.

Etch rate in a pure hydrogen plasma (50 sccs H, 60 A, 33 Pa, 91–98 °C T) for different ion energies. The bias voltage is indicated in the graph. The smoothing window of the Savitzky-Golay filter is 20 points wide.

Image of FIG. 9.
FIG. 9.

The etch rate of a-C:H in an argon plasma (50 sccs, 60 A, 100 Pa), admixed with 1 sccs of H injected via the background (full line), H injected via the arc (dashed line), or D injected via the arc (dotted line).

Image of FIG. 10.
FIG. 10.

The roughness of three different a-C:H samples exposed to an argon plasma (50 sccs, 60 A, 100 Pa), admixed with 1 sccs of (full line) H injected via the background, (dashed line) H injected via the arc, and (dotted line) D injected via the arc. All three samples are completely eroded as indicated by the large variation in roughness that starts around 5 min.

Image of FIG. 11.
FIG. 11.

The incident ion flux is larger at the hills than in the valleys due to a larger opening angle and a low reflection coefficient. Thermal spikes caused by these ions promote the formation of graphitic clusters, which then act as a capping layer. This leads to a high surface roughness. Dashed line is the original roughness; full line is after etching.

Tables

Generic image for table
Table I.

The ion and radical fluxes for different plasma systems. Arc current and background pressure are 60 A and 100 Pa, respectively, for all systems. BG indicates gas injection directly in the background of the reactor.

Generic image for table
Table II.

The activation energy for different plasma systems, as determined from Figs. 8 and 9. The arc current is 60 A for all systems. The background pressure is 100 Pa, unless otherwise specified. The last column shows the temperature range for which the activation energy was fitted. BG indicates gas injection directly in the background of the reactor.

Generic image for table
Table III.

The etch rate and flux for different plasma systems at a substrate temperature of K. The arc current and background pressure are 60 A and 100 Pa, respectively, for all systems. BG indicates gas injection directly in the background of the reactor.

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/content/aip/journal/jap/112/1/10.1063/1.4730924
2012-07-05
2014-04-24
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752b84549af89a08dbdd7fdb8b9568b5 journal.articlezxybnytfddd
Scitation: Synergistic etch rates during low-energetic plasma etching of hydrogenated amorphous carbon
http://aip.metastore.ingenta.com/content/aip/journal/jap/112/1/10.1063/1.4730924
10.1063/1.4730924
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