Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films

Surface etching mechanism of silicon nitride in fluorine and nitric oxide containing plasmas

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The effect of nitric oxide (NO) addition to a F and O containing gas phase on the etching of silicon nitride (Si34) was studied by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. The main products of the chemical reaction of NO with Si3N4 were determined by mass spectrometry, allowing the determination of the mechanisms by which NO enhances the etching of Si3N4.