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The STS ASE is a deep silicon etcher with an electrostatic chuck and helium backside cooling.  It is set up as a load locked tool for 150mm wafers.  Smaller wafers or pieces may not be etched unless attached to a 150mm oxide wafer.  Wafers with metals are not allowed in the tool.  Wafers must be flat with no backside contamination.  Any particles, resist or developer residue must be removed prior to processing to prevent damage to the chuck and helium leakage into the process.

  

Process results are dependent on chamber cleanliness and conditioning.  For consistant results it is recommended to run a chamber clean process followed by a seasoning process before any device wafers.

  

Etch rate and uniformity will depend on the percentage of exposed silicon.  Best results are obtained when the exposed silicon is less than 15%.  Typically the edges of the wafer will etch faster than the center.  Etch rate may decrease if there are an excessive number of plasma "blinks." 

  

Suitable masking materials are resist or oxide.

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