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ResearchZernike (ZIAM)FYSND

Reactive Ion Etching System

´╗┐Tuning etching conditions

As the system works with different gases, each time before loading the sample CHECK and OPTIMIZE the etching conditions for your process.

  1. Outside the cleanroom: open the gas cilinder with the desired etching gas.
  2. At the RIE: set the desired gas flow (turn the gas switch from from OFF to AUTO, press corresponding green button, set the desired gas flow with the knob, set the pressure with Exhaust gas controller).
  3. Switch etching unit (white button), switch Load/Tune unit from OFF position to ON, set etching power - start firstly with low power (~10W) and try to ignite plasma.
  4. If the reflected power (monitored on right up corner on the green display) is >1W, you have to optimise firslty the TUNE and then eventually LOAD. For that switch the tune knob from AUTO to MAN and modify its values pressing +/- knob. If you haven’t done that before ask Johan/Magda or other experienced colleagues for assistance.
  5. Once your plasma conditions are optimized, you can reduce the RIE power to zero and switch it off. (BIG RED BUTTON)
  6. Set the Exhaust valve controller to OPEN, turn the gas flow to zero. Switch off the gas valve (from AUTO to OFF), switch the gas green button. If you are using the toxic gas, flush the chamber 3 times with N2.

Now you can start your regular procedure.

Loading sample

  1. Vent system using VENT procedure described on a white sticker at the right bottom of the Gas/Pump panel. Do not forget to press green button [Bel-kamer], otherwise venting will take ages.
  2. After 1-2 min. put sample in, switch off [Bel-kamer] and pump down using PUMP sequence written on a white sticker.

Filling chamber with Oxygen

  1. Flush chamber with O2. Flush for 1 min. For that put O2 knob to maximum, O2 switch from OFF to AUTO. Press [O2] green button. And [Display] switch to the position ‘2’.
  2. Reduce O2 flow back to zero using the O2 knob.
  3. Wait for approx 5 min until O2 will be pump out from the chamber. Control chamber pressure using MBAR screen. It has an offset around 0.01 mbar, so when it is reached, chamber is pumped.
  4. Put O2 flow to the 9.0 sccm (control it using SCCM screen). This corresponds to approximately 1.0 on the O2 knob. Wait for a 1 min for flow to stabilize.
  5. Set Exhaust valve controller (bottom part of the Gas/Pump pannel): set a switch at the right bottom corner from OPEN to AUTO.
  6. Regulate pressure by using SET POINT knob. Desirable pressure must be [Offset + 0.009 mbar].


  1. Switch etching unit on using the BIG WHITE BUTTON
  2. Set power to 40 W using double vertical arrows.
  3. Switch on Load/Tune device on by putting switch from OFF position to AUTO.
  4. Start plasma etching by pressing the BIG RED BUTTON RF ON/OFF. Typical etching time is 15 sec. Etching rate is about 1 nm/sec.
  5. After etching, reduce power gently, by using single vertical arrows.
  6. When power has reached zero, push the RF ON/OFF button.
  7. Switch off Etching unit by pressing the BIG WHITE BUTTON.

Sample offloading

  1. At the Exhaust valve controller (bottom part of the Gas/Pump panel) set a switch at the right bottom corner from AUTO to OPEN
  2. Switch off O2 flow: turn O2 knob to zero, O2 switch from AUTO to OFF, green [O2] button undressed.
  3. Wait for all oxygen to be pumped out. Check it on a MBAR screen.
  4. After the pressure in a chamber becomes around offset value, flush chamber with nitrogen? For that with on the nitrogen flow, switch [N2/HE] from OFF to AUTO and press the green N2 button. Flush for ~ 1 min. and pump the chamber. Repeat procedure 3 times.
  5. Vent using the VENT procedure. Don’t forget to press green [Bel-kamer] button.
  6. After sample is removed, pump the system.

Please contact the system responsible in case of questions and/or problems.

Last modified:09 July 2015 10.59 a.m.