Plasma processing refers to any microfabrication process that uses a plasma discharge to achieve the process results. There are deposition processes like PECVD and sputtering, etching processes (RIE), cleaning, and surface activation to name a few.
Plasma deposition processes...
Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is a form of chemical vapor deposition that uses a plasma to dissociate reactant gases that then recombine on the sample surface into the desired material. This allows for deposition at lower temperatures (typically 200-400°C) than other forms of CVD.
Sputter deposition is a form of physical vapor deposition that uses a plasma to physically vaporize atoms from the source target which then condense on the surface of the sample. The sample can be held at room temperature or heated. Reactive sputtering can also be performed, where the vaporized material reacts with a gas such as nitrogen or oxygen when it condenses on the sample.
Plasma etching uses chemical and physical reactions between the plasma and the surface of the sample to remove a desired material from the sample. It is a highly controllable process compared to other forms of etching.
Reactive ion etching
Reactive ion etching (RIE) is the most common type of plasma etching. It uses a combination of chemical reactions and physical sputtering of the sample to remove the desired material. There are a wide range of materials that can be etched in this manner using a variety of etch chemistries.
Plasma cleaning typically uses oxygen or argon plasmas to remove undesired residues from a sample. It is often used to prepare a sample for a deposition or lithography process.
Surface activation uses a plasma to modify the surface of a material. It can be used to change surface tension (e.g. make a surface hydrophilic or hydrophobic) or to prepare a surface for bonding.
For a complete list of plasma processing equipment available at the LNF, please see Category:Plasma processing equipment or the appropriate technology listed above.