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Primaxx Vapor HF Etcher

CAC Name: Primaxx

Vapor HF Isotropic Release Etching

Primaxx Vapor HF Etcher
Manager: Vince Genova
Backup: Phil Infante
Equipment Training
Training is scheduled as requested by users and then posted here on the tool web site. If no sessions are currently scheduled then email the tool managers to request a session.
There are no training sessions currently scheduled.


The Primaxx µEtch system is designed for low volume single wafer vapor HF etching. The system can accommodate a wafer with diameter up to 200mm.


The Primaxx HF/alcohol process employs a low pressure gas phase environment for isotropic etch removal of sacrificial silicon oxide layers to release flexures or other MEMS based devices. The process is carried out between 75-150 Torr and at temperatures between 40-60°C. Typical vertical and lateral etch rates are between 0.1-10µm/min. The process provides stiction free release with yields ->100%.

Processes Available:

Fully characterized processes are available for selective etching of thermal oxide, and PECVD oxides (both silane and TEOS based) for a wide range of thicknesses. The vapor HF process is selective to metals such as Al and TiW. Other highly selective materials are Al2O3, a-Si, SiC, and LPCVD low stress nitride. Stoichiometric LPCVD silicon nitride is selective at low temperatures. PECVD nitride has a 1:1 selectivity to silicon oxide.


The key application is in the dry release of microstructures without the effect of stiction. By virtue of the reduced pressure operation, the gas phase etch process provides maximum feature penetration with its ability to remove 0.05µm thick sacrificial oxide layers under small structures. The process is exceptionally suited for complex 3D elements.

Additional Resources:

Equipment Information Sheet

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Jul 21, 2015
The CNF has purchased about a dozen new Digital Robic Three Memory Timers. These are to be used by all users in the lab. They have three alarm set points, large LCD display with count up and countdown functionality and magnetic. Remember that they are property of CNF and are labeled as such. They are not to be kept in your tool boxes or your group's storage. Please keep them away
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