Roughness evolution in polyimide films during plasma etching

Agarwal, Navnit; Ponoth, Shom; Plawsky, Joel; Persans, P. D.
April 2001
Applied Physics Letters;4/16/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 16, p2294
Academic Journal
We report an experimental study on the evolution of etch front roughness in fluorinated polyimide films in oxygen based plasmas. For standard low-pressure (40 mT) etching conditions, the root-mean-square roughness, w, of the polymer surface increases with the amount of material etched, d, as w=0.0265(d-116)[sup β] with β=1, independent of etch rate, rf power, and gas composition. The etched surfaces can be described by the statistics of self-affine surfaces with scaling exponent, α=0.6±0.1 and lateral correlation length, ξ, of ∼0.3 μm. A dramatic reduction in roughness is observed under higher pressure etching conditions of 1000-2000 mT. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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