Etching characteristics and the mechanism of HfO2 thin films in Cl2/Ar inductively-coupled plasma were investigated. The etch rate of HfO2 was measured as a function of the Cl2/Ar mixing ratio in the range of 0 to 100% Ar at a fixed gas pressure (6 mTorr), input power (700 W), and bias power (300 W). We found that an increase in the Ar mixing ratio resulted in a monotonic decrease in the HfO2 etch rate in the range of 10.3 to 0.7 nm/min while the etch rate of the photoresist increased from 152.1 to 375.0 nm/min for 0 to 100% Ar. To examine the etching mechanism of HfO2 films, we combined plasma diagnostics using Langmuir probes and quadrupole mass spectrometry with global (zero-dimensional) plasma modeling. We found that the HfO2 etching process was not controlled by ion-surface interaction kinetics and formally corresponds to the reaction rate-limited etch regime.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry