On the relative importance of physical and chemical sputtering during ion-enhanced etching of silicon by XeF2

Houle, F. A.
June 1987
Applied Physics Letters;6/22/1987, Vol. 50 Issue 25, p1838
Academic Journal
Product translational energy distributions have been used in previous studies as a diagnostic of surface reaction enhancement mechanisms under ion bombardment. Haring and co-workers [R. A. Haring, A. Haring, F. W. Saris, and A. E. de Vries, Appl. Phys. Lett. 41, 174 (1982)] have taken an E-2 dependence for SiFx species desorbing during ion-enhanced etching of silicon as evidence for the importance of physical sputtering. In this work, the translational energy distribution of SiF4 desorbing from the surface of silicon during spontaneous etching by XeF2 has been obtained from modulated beam measurements. The distribution deviates markedly from a thermal distribution at the surface temperature and exhibits an E-2 dependence at high energy. Observation of this energy dependence both with and without ions suggests that translational energy distributions may not provide a unique signature for chemical and physical sputtering.


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