Si Dry Etching Process (RIE, ICP-RIE or XeF2 Etch)

 SAMCO Inc. > Tech Resources > Si Etching

Material Properties and Applications of Silicon (Si)

Silicon is the 14th element on the Periodic Table. Crystalline silicon substrate is available as a wafer in multiple sizes from 1-inch to 450 mm.

• Band Gap : 1.12 (eV)
• Electron Mobility : 1,400 (cm2/Vs)
• Electrical Resistivity : 2.3×103 Ω·m (at 20°C)
• Thermal Conductivity : 149 W/(m·K)

Periodic Table (Silicon)

Semiconductor industry has been developed along with mass-production, price reduction and quality stability improvement of silicon wafers. These days, there are lot of devices using the wafers, including memory devices, sensors, solar cells, power devices and photonic devices. While the industry looks already matured, Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to be a new market of existing silicon-related products.

For process data of Si Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE), please visit our Si DRIE page.

Si Nanoscale Etching

Nanoscale processing is required to achieve high performance and miniaturization of devices.
SAMCO’s Si nanoscale etching processes are used for various applications including photonic devices and nanoimprint.

silicon photonic light waveguide on SOI

Periodic arrays of vertical holes on SOI substrate
(hole diameter < 300 nm)
Photo courtesy of Baba lab,
Yokohama National University

silicon nanoimprint mold fabrication

Nanoimprint mold
Courtesy of RIKEN Nano Science Research Program

silicon nanoscale etching for XMOS

Nanopillar patterning (~20 nm width) for double-gate MOS fabrication
Photo courtesy of AIST

Si Etching for Photonic Devices

IoT will enable real-time data collection using industrial sensors and consumer products, and data centers need to be more efficient to process the collected “Big Data”. Silicon photonics are key technologies for high-speed data transfer and low power consumption at the data centers, replacing conventional copper interconnects.

SAMCO has developed silicon photonic device fabrication processes in collaboration with customers.

silicon photonic crystal waveguide

THz photonic crystal waveguide
Photo courtesy of University of Delaware

Silicon Photonic Crystal

Si air-bridge photonic crystal
Photo courtesy of Baba lab,
Yokohama National University

silicon optical waveguide

Optical waveguide

Profile Angle Control

SAMCO has developed an technique to control the etched profile of silicon samples.
The angle is easily controllable from 57° to 86°.

Profile Angle Control in silicon etching


Profile Angle Control in silicon etching


Profile Angle Control in silicon etching


Si Isotropic Etching

Si isotropic etching was performed to fabricate emitter chip attays of Field Emission Display (FED).
The aspect ratio of array profiles is controllable with recipe adjustment.

silicon isotropic etching

XeF2 Release Etching for MEMS devices

Release etching is one of the important processes in MEMS device fabrication. The process is used for the release of various types of structures including cantilevers and comb arrays.

SAMCO offers reliable release etching solutions using Xenon Difluoride (XeF2 ).
The etch process is completely dry, and it eliminates the stiction problems that occur during wet etch process.
This isotropic etch process shows high etch selectivity of silicon against PDMS, parylene, SU8, silicon dioxide (SiO2) and silicon nitride (SiNx).

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

System Lineup for Si Dry Etching

RIE Systems

– Multiple system lineup for small wafers and 300/450 mm
– HIgh etch uniformity over the wafers
– Useful for etch tests of various materials

RIE Systems for Si Plasma Etching


More Info >

ICP Etch Systems

– Multiple system lineup for small wafers and 300/450 mm
– Superior profile control for Si photonic crystal fabrication

ICP Etch Systems for Si Plasma Etching


More Info >

XeF2 Etch System

– Small footprint (tabletop-type)
– Excellent Si etch rate control for reliable MEMS release
– No stiction damages

XeF2 Etch System for MEMS release


More Info >

  • SAMCO Etch System for silicon etching


 SAMCO’s Si nanoscale etching technologies are used for photonic device fabrication at

University of Delaware

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

Any Questions?

Contact SAMCO for more product information