Application of cyclic fluorocarbon/argon discharges to device patterning

View publication


With increasing demands on device patterning to achieve smaller critical dimensions and pitches for the 5 nm node and beyond, the need for atomic layer etching (ALE) is steadily increasing. In this work, a cyclic fluorocarbon/Ar plasma is successfully used for ALE patterning in a manufacturing scale reactor. Self-limited etching of silicon oxide is observed. The impact of various process parameters on the etch performance is established. The substrate temperature has been shown to play an especially significant role, with lower temperatures leading to higher selectivity and lower etch rates, but worse pattern fidelity. The cyclic ALE approach established with this work is shown to have great potential for small scale device patterning, showing self-limited etching, improved uniformity and resist mask performance.