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PlasmaTherm Deep Si Etcher

DRIE silicon etch

Oerlikon Deep Si Etch Tool
Manager: Tom Pennell
Backup: Vince Genova , Christopher Alpha


The PlasmaTherm Versaline system is a state of the art tool for DRIE of silicon. It provides the etch precision and process latitude necessary to create next generation nanoscale and MEMS devices. This platform enables sub-second etch and deposition steps producing much smoother sidewalls as scalloping is reduced to a minimum.


The tool is equipped for both 4 and 6-inch wafers, as well as pieces which can be mounted on a handle wafer. It also has a highly sensitive optical emission spectroscopy system (OES) to enable SOI endpoint detection which eliminates notching.

Processes Available:

Etching can be done with photoresists, ebeam resists, silicon oxide, and ALD Al2O3 masks. Selectivity to PR is 110:1, oxide selectivity as high as 340:1 and Al2O3 has selectivity > 1000:1. Trench aspect ratios of up to 50:1 and isolated line aspect ratios of 200:1 are achievable.


DRIE is vital to the fabrication of many MEMS devices including microfluidics, RF MEMS, biological MEMS, as well as integrated CMOS structures.

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