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Inductively coupled reactive ion etching studies on sputtered yttria stabilized zirconia thin films in SF6, Cl-2, and BCl3 chemistries

Subramaniam, Kiruba Mangalam and Rao, Langoju Lakshmi Rajeswara and Jampana, Nagaraju (2015) Inductively coupled reactive ion etching studies on sputtered yttria stabilized zirconia thin films in SF6, Cl-2, and BCl3 chemistries. In: JOURNAL OF VACUUM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY B, 33 (2).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.4907707


Downscaling of yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) based electrochemical devices and gate oxide layers requires successful pattern transfer on YSZ thin films. Among a number of techniques available to transfer patterns to a material, reactive ion etching has the capability to offer high resolution, easily controllable, tunable anisotropic/isotropic pattern transfer for batch processing. This work reports inductively coupled reactive ion etching studies on sputtered YSZ thin films in fluorine and chlorine based plasmas and their etch chemistry analyses using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Etching in SF6 plasma gives an etch rate of 7 nm/min chiefly through physical etching process. For same process parameters, in Cl-2 and BCl3 plasmas, YSZ etch rate is 17 nm/min and 45 nm/min, respectively. Increased etch rate in BCl3 plasma is attributed to its oxygen scavenging property synergetic with other chemical and physical etch pathways. BCl3 etched YSZ films show residue-free and smooth surface. The surface atomic concentration ratio of Zr/Y in BCl3 etched films is closer to as-annealed YSZ thin films. On the other hand, Cl-2 etched films show surface yttrium enrichment. Selectivity ratio of YSZ over silicon (Si), silicon dioxide (SiO2) and silicon nitride (Si3N4) are 1:2.7, 1:1, and 1:0.75, respectively, in BCl3 plasma. YSZ etch rate increases to 53 nm/min when nonoxygen supplying carrier wafer like Si3N4 is used. (C) 2015 American Vacuum Society.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the A V S AMER INST PHYSICS, STE 1 NO 1, 2 HUNTINGTON QUADRANGLE, MELVILLE, NY 11747-4502 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Instrumentation Appiled Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 04:49
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2015 04:49
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51445

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