Deep Reactive Ion Etching System Arrives
Due to be fully operational by the end of August, the Microfabrication Laboratory has added an Oxford Instruments PlasmaLab 100 ICP 180 system to its dry etching capabilities.
Funding of over $500,000 for the tool–the latest in ion etching technology–comes from a variety of sources, including university departments and various companies involved with the Microfabrication Laboratory. The real advantage of this “Deep RIE” system is that it supports the Bosch process, a sophisticated technique for forming high aspect ratio microfabricated features in silicon–particularly deep, vertical channels with smooth sidewalls.
An alternative to wet chemical processing, dry etching is a method of selectively removing material using a reactive plasma or ion beam to form complex microfabricated structures in substrates. It has significant application in forming MEMS (microelectromechanical) and microfluidic devices, which are gaining widespread use in aerospace, automotive, industrial, telecommunications, imaging, display, and medical applications.
The Microfabrication Laboratory supports a full range of wafer fabrication processes, including diffusion, oxidation, metallization, photolithography, laser cutting, wafer dicing, packaging and characterization, in addition to wet and dry etching, all in a class 10,000 clean room environment. The facility is open to university and industrial users alike, and currently has over 130 registered users.
The Deep RIE is an exciting addition to the growing array of microfabrication technologies available in WTC’s Microfabrication Laboratory.
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