STS Pegasus 6

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STS Pegasus 6
Equipment Details
Manufacturer SPTS Technologies Ltd.
Model Pegasus
Technology DRIE
Materials Restriction Semi-Clean
Material Processed Si
Mask Materials PR, SiO2
Sample Size 150 mm
Gases Used Ar, C4F8, O2, SF6
Equipment Manual
Overview System overview
Operating Procedure User manual
Supported Processes Supported Processes
User Processes User processes
Maintenance Maintenance

The STS Pegasus 6 is a Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) tool manufactured by SPTS Technologies. It is used for fast, high aspect ratio anisotropic etching of 6" (150 mm) silicon wafers using the Bosch process. It is also capable of slow, controlled etching with minimal undercut, sidewall roughness, and notching; sub-micron feature etching has been demonstrated down to 100 nm linewidth. Etch rate varies with feature size and density, so a characterization run is strongly recommended with any new mask.



  • High etch rates ~15 µm /min
  • Nearly vertical sidewalls ~89°
  • High selectivity to photoresist and SiO2

System overview

Hardware details

  • Gases
    • High Precision Fast Acting Chamber Mounted MFC's
      • C4F8 - 400 sccm
      • SF6 - 1200 sccm
      • O2 - 200 sccm
    • Standard Gasbox Mounted MFC
      • Ar - 283 sccm
  • Pressure
    • 1550 L/sec Mag 2000 CTS Turbo Pump
    • 2-250 mTorr
    • Fast acting VAT pendulum valve
      • Allows fast switching of BOSCH recipes (~1.5 seconds minimum)
  • Chuck
    • 150 mm Wafer
    • 0-20 Torr Backside He Cooling
    • -20°C to 20°C
  • Chamber
    • 120°C Walls
    • Aluminum Walls
  • RF
    • 5 kW, 13.56 Mhz Coil
    • 300 W, 13.56 Mhz Platen
    • 500 W, 380 kHz Platen with Pulsed Power Supply
    • 10 A Chamber Outer Electromagnet
    • 30 A Chamber Outer Electromagnet

Substrate requirements

The STS Pegasus 6 is equipped to handle 6” (150 mm wafers) up to 3 mm thick. All smaller samples must be mounted to a carrier wafer. All standard major and minor flats and full-round wafers are allowed.

Sample mounting

See also: Sample mounting

If your sample and process meet any of the following criteria, you MUST mount your sample to a 4” carrier wafer:

  • Sample size is smaller than a 6” (150 mm) wafer
  • Substrate material is non-conducting (e.g. glass)
  • Sample thickness is less than 100 μm
  • Remaining thickness after etch is less than 100 μm
Etch depth must be calculated for the deepest feature. An etch rate test should be performed to determine this for each process and mask design.

For all standard (Bosch process) recipes, an SiO2 coated carrier is required, unless otherwise instructed by a tool engineer. For non-bosch process recipes, create a helpdesk ticket and staff will help you determine the appropriate material.

Material restrictions

diagram of typical material stack during an etch

The STS Pegasus 6 is designated as a Semi-Clean class tool. A full list of approved materials is included at the end of this section. In addition to the restrictions in this list, materials can be classified into four categories, detailed below: materials that may be etched, materials that can be used as masks, etch stop materials, and buried materials. Use of any material outside of these conditions requires approval by the LNF staff via a helpdesk ticket.

Materials etched

The STS Pegasus 4 is intended for etching single crystal silicon. While it is capable of etching silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, and poly-silicon, there are other tools at the LNF with better performance for these materials. There are certain restrictions for where these materials may be deposited, as detailed in the approved materials list.

Mask materials

This includes any material that will be exposed to the plasma for the majority of the process. The most common mask materials are photoresist and silicon dioxide. Silicon nitride is also allowed, although it has not been characterized. There are certain restrictions for where these materials may be deposited, as detailed in the approved materials list.

Etch stop materials

This includes any material that will be exposed briefly to the plasma. All materials listed in the approved materials list on the wiki are allowed, including approved mounting materials.

Buried materials

These materials may be present on the sample, but may not be exposed to the plasma. They may be covered by the mask or on the back of the sample, provided that the sample is mounted to a carrier wafer. Materials listed in the approved materials list on the wiki are allowed.

Approved materials

Below is a list of approved materials for the tool. Approved means the material is allowed in the tool under the conditions described above. If a material is not listed, please create a helpdesk ticket or email for any material requests or questions.

Supported processes

The primary recipes for the STS Pegasus 6 are Bosch style recipes used for deep silicon etching. There are also two slow, isotropic recipes designed for thinning wafers by a small amount, typically for process release, and a few "support" recipes. Details on supported processes can be found on the Processes page.

In addition to these, this tool has a number of user-created recipes for specific processes. Some of these recipes are documented on STS Pegasus 6 User Processes. For more information, please contact the tool engineers via the helpdesk ticket system.

For all process questions, fill out the process request form and create a helpdesk ticket.

Standard operating procedure

Checkout procedure

Follow this procedure to receive authorization to run supported processes. Practicing with an authorized user or staff member prior to checkout is strongly encouraged.

  1. Complete the sample mounting course. If you have already completed this for another tool, you do not need to complete it again.
  2. Read through the User Manual above.
  3. Accurately complete the checkout quiz. You may retake as necessary until all answers are correct.
  4. Complete the process request form.
  5. Schedule a time for a checkout:
    1. Find an available time for checkout here.
    2. Verify that the tool is available in the LNF Online Services at the time you are requesting.
    3. After confirmation that the event is scheduled in Calendly, invite the staff member assigned to your event to a Staff Support reservation at that time.
    4. Create a helpdesk ticket for final confirmation of your appointment.
  6. Schedule a time for a checkout using the above procedure.
  7. Authorization will be provided pending successful completion of the quiz and demonstration of proper tool use in the presence of a tool engineer.


In order to provide reliable operating conditions, maintenance is performed regularly on the tool including inspecting and cleaning the chamber. The following regular maintenance is performed on the STS Pegasus 6:

  • Weekly
    • General tool check
    • Qualification wafer run
    • Check wafer centering
  • Monthly
    • Wipe down chamber walls
    • Clean process kit, clamping ring
    • Plasma clean and condition
  • Annually
    • Change and clean source ceramics
  • Biennially
    • Refurbish turbo pump
    • Clean APC valve, foreline valve, baratron valve

After any chamber maintenance, the etch rate of the standard recipes is checked, as described below.


As part of the maintenance performed on the tool, LNF Recipe 1, 2 and 3 are run on a 6" Si wafer to ensure the systems stability. The etch rate is measured on a 100 μm wide trench in 5 locations. The average of this is shown below.