XeF2 Etch System for MEMS Release

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XeF2 Vapor-phase Etching

XeF2 vapor-phase etching is a powerful etching technique for microelectronics fabrication.
The chemical reaction of silicon etching process using XeF2 vapor is as follows.

2XeF2 + Si → 2Xe (g) + SiF4 (g)

Silicon surface reacts with XeF2, and forms byproduct molecule of SiF4.
This non-plasma etching process shows unlimited etch selectivity of silicon against other materials such as photoresist, metals (Al, Ni, Cr) and compound semiconductor (GaAs, ZnO, PZT). The main application of this process is isotropic silicon etching for MEMS structure release such as cantilevers.

XeF2 Etch System

The SAMCO VPE-4F is a Xenon Difluoride (XeF) etch system which is designed primarily for the etching of silicon sacrificial layers in the processing of self-standing MEMS devices. This isotropic etch process shows high etch selectivity of silicon against PDMS, parylene, SU8, silicon dioxide (SiO2) and silicon nitride (SiNx).

The etch process is completely dry, and eliminates the stiction problems that occur during conventional wet etching process. In addition, the space efficient design makes the system ideal for desktop use in research and development.

XeF2 Etch System

System Features

SAMCO’s XeF2 Etch System is designed to offer repeatable release etch solutions for MEMS devices.

Compact Footprint

Main Unit : 400(W) x 600(D) x 430(H) mm
– minimizes space requirements

Plasma-free Process

– no physical damage and charging caused by plasma discharge

Complete Dry Process

– prevents stiction damage which can be seen in wet etch process
– eiminates the need for pre-processing and post-processing that are required with wet process

Pulsing of the Gas Flow

– enables easy control of the etch rate and the gas consumption rate

Process Examples

XeF2 release etching for MEMS device

MEMS spiral structure after Si sacrificial layer etching

Release Etching for MEMS device using XeF2

1 μm gap was formed using Si sacrificial layer etching and , and movable parylene structure was released.

XeF2 Release MEMS Release Etching

Photo courtesy of Aoyagi lab at Kansai University

  • XeF2 Release Etching

Testimonial

SAMCO’s XeF2 release etching technologies are used for MEMS device fabrication at

Contact SAMCO for more product information
Any questions? Contact us for more detail.
Contact SAMCO for more product information
Any questions? Contact us for more detail.
Contact SAMCO for more product information
Any questions? Contact us for more detail.
Contact SAMCO for more product information
Contact us for more detail.
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