Creating features with atomic precision
Etch processes help create chip features by selectively removing both dielectric (insulating) and metal (conducting) materials that have been added during deposition. These processes involve fabricating increasingly small, complex, and tall and narrow features using many types of materials. The primary technology, reactive ion etch (RIE), bombards the wafer surface with ions (charged particles) to remove material. For the tiniest features, atomic layer etching (ALE) removes a few atomic layers of material at a time. While conductor etch processes precisely shape critical electrical components like transistors, dielectric etch forms the insulating structures that protect conducting parts. Etch processes also create the tall, column-like features used, for example, in TSVs that link chips together and in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).
Lam’s plasma etch systems deliver the high-performance, high-productivity capabilities needed to form exacting structures – whether tall and narrow, short and wide, or measured in only a few nanometers.