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Reactive ion etching

No change in size, 7 years ago
==Method of operation==
Samples are first masked by one of many patterning processes. They are then placed into a vacuum chamber. Gases are introduced into the chamber and then activated by Rf RF or microwave power to create a plasma consisting of a wide variety of reactive species, ions, and electrons. The reactive species are chosen for their ability to react chemically with the material being etched. A negative DC bias is induced at the substrate by the free electrons which accelerates the ions towards the sample surface. The energy imparted by these ions reaching the surface greatly enhances the effectiveness of the chemical reaction and provides directionality to the etch. Generally some form of [[Etch passivation|passivating]] component is incorporated such that the etch proceeds only where energetic ions strike the surface.
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