Principles of Materials Etching

A standard approach for the fabrication of micro- and nanostructures is the definition of a mask pattern with
lithography and the subsequent transfer of this pattern into the underlying substrate by means of etching.
The etching process can be done by wet chemical etching based on acidic or basic solutions or by
dry etching methods based on low-pressure plasmas of inert and/or reactive gases. This paper gives an overview of wet chemical etching of silicon and III/V materials and dry etching for the same material systems. Basic principles, etching chemistries and mechanisms for dry etching are covered. One of the major problems of ion-assisted etching is the etching-induced damage, which is mainly caused by ions with a small but finite energy. This etching-induced damage will also be briefly overviewed.

By: R. Germann

Published in: Nanofabrication and Biosystems: Integrating Materials Science, Engineering and Biology, edited by H.C. Hoch, L.W. Jelinski and H.G. Craighead., New York, Cambridge University Press, p.18-39 in 1996

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