In high aspect ratio (HAR) plasma etching of holes and trenches in dielectrics, sporadic twisting is often observed. Twisting is the randomly occurring divergence of a hole or trench from the vertical. Many causes have been proposed for twisting, one of which is stochastic charging. As feature sizes shrink, the fluxes of plasma particles, and ions in particular, into the feature become statistical. Randomly deposited charge by ions on the inside of a feature may be sufficient to produce lateral electric fields which divert incoming ions and initiate nonvertical etching or twisting. This is particularly problematic when etching with fluorocarbon gas mixtures where deposition of polymer in the feature may trap charge. dc-augmented capacitively coupled plasmas (dc-CCPs) have been investigated as a remedy for twisting. In these devices, high energy electron (HEE) beams having narrow angular spreads can be generated. HEEs incident onto the wafer which penetrate into HAR features can neutralize the positive charge and so reduce the incidence of twisting. In this paper, we report on results from a computational investigation of plasma etching of in a dc-CCP using gas mixtures. We found that HEE beams incident onto the wafer are capable of penetrating into features and partially neutralizing positive charge buildup due to sporadic ion charging, thereby reducing the incidence of twisting. Increasing the rf bias power increases the HEE beam energy and flux with some indication of improvement of twisting, but there are also changes in the ion energy and fluxes, so this is not an unambiguous improvement. Increasing the dc bias voltage while keeping the rf bias voltage constant increases the maximum energy of the HEE and its flux while the ion characteristics remain nearly constant. For these conditions, the occurrence of twisting decreases with increasing HEE energy and flux.
High energy electron fluxes in dc-augmented capacitively coupled plasmas. II. Effects on twisting in high aspect ratio etching of dielectrics
Mingmei Wang, Mark J. Kushner; High energy electron fluxes in dc-augmented capacitively coupled plasmas. II. Effects on twisting in high aspect ratio etching of dielectrics. J. Appl. Phys. 15 January 2010; 107 (2): 023309. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3290873
Download citation file: