Use of optical emission spectroscopy to study hexafluoroethane reactive ion beam etching of silicon in the presence of oxygen

Cox, T. I.; Deshmukh, V. G. I.
August 1985
Applied Physics Letters;8/15/1985, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p378
Academic Journal
By studying the light emission arising from the bombardment of silicon with an ion beam generated from C[sub 2]F[sub 6], we find that emission from excited silicon atoms ejected from the surface is only observed for CF[sup +, sub x] ions with energies greater than a threshold value. This is consistent with fragmentation of the CF[sup +, sub x] ions on impact and adsorption of the resulting carbon on the silicon surface, thereby preventing the sputtering of silicon atoms. We associated the threshold energy with the appearance of areas of silicon which are free from carbon passivation. Addition of oxygen assists in the removal of this passivating carbon and reduces the observed threshold energies.


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