Creating Structures at Nano Level
With plasma-enhanced etching technology, material from the surface of a solid object is removed in a controlled manner. To do this, the molecules of a process gas are ionized in a low-temperature plasma. The newly created ions are accelerated in an electrical field and collide with the surface of the material (substrate) to be processed.
Two events are involved in the process: The impacting ions react with the substrate particles to form gaseous chemical compounds. As a result of the impulse transfer, the impacting ions chip particles from the substrate surface upon impact.
Fine structures, as in lithography processes, can be created on substrates through plasma etching. Areas that need to remain intact after etching are coated with a material so that only uncoated areas are etched. Structures in the micrometer and sub-micrometer range can be etched by plasma dry etching, for example, in the production of semiconductors.