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Study of High Aspect Ratio NLD Plasma Etching and Postprocessing of Fused Silica and Borosilicate Glass

  • Author(s): Ahamed, MJ
  • Senkal, D
  • Trusov, AA
  • Shkel, AM
  • et al.

In this paper, we report magnetic neutral loop discharge (NLD) plasma etching of fused silica (FS) and borosilicate glass (BSG), demonstrating high aspect ratio deep etch ( 100~\mu \text{m} ) with vertical walls (<3° deviation from vertical). This paper for the first time presents the systematic study of FS and BSG deep etching in NLD plasma. Four different masking materials have been explored including metal, amorphous silicon, bonded silicon, and photoresist. Etch parameters were optimized to eliminate unwanted artifacts, such as micro-masking, trenching, and faceting, while retaining a high aspect ratio (up to 7:1 for FS and 8:1 for BSG). In addition, a method for sidewall roughness mitigation based on postfabrication annealing was developed, showing the sidewall roughness reduction from the average roughness ( R{a} ) 900 to 85 nm. Further advances in deep plasma etching processes may enable the use of FS and BSG in the fabrication of precision inertial MEMS, micro-fluidic, and micro-optical devices. [2015-0078]

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