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Deep lateral anhydrous HF/methanol etching for MEMS release processes

[+] Author Affiliations
Meltem Erdamar, Karthikeyan Shanmugasundaram

Pennsylvania State University, Department of Electrical Engineering, 11 EE West, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Paul Roman, Paul Mumbauer

Primaxx Inc., 7377 William Ave. No. 1800, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18106

Maria Klimkiewicz

Pennsylvania State University, Materials Research Institute, 0160 Materials Research Lab, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Jerzy Ruzyllo

Pennsylvania State University, Department of Electrical Engineering, 214 EE West, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 7(3), 033014 (July 30, 2008). doi:10.1117/1.2959177
History: Received April 12, 2007; Revised December 04, 2007; Accepted March 07, 2008; Published July 30, 2008
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As demonstrated earlier, gas-phase etching of sacrificial oxide with a vapor mixture of anhydrous HF (AHF) and methanol (CH3OH) offers a clean, stiction-free, effective etching technique for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) release. The use of AHF/methanol process in MEMS release operations is explored in the deep lateral etching of patterned silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates using a 200mm multiwafer commercial module, which assures adequate process throughput. It was determined that highly selective, with respect to both Si and Si3N4, etching of SiO2 can be accomplished by controlling pressure and wafer temperature. It was also observed that the vertical etch rates for both the AHF/methanol and the HF: H2O solution was higher than the rates of lateral etches in confined geometries. Furthermore, the AHF/methanol and 1:10 HF: H2O etch chemistries were directly compared in releasing silicon cantilevers up to 500μm in length and a significantly faster, stiction-free process was observed in the former case. Adequate process reproducibility from wafer to wafer as well uniformity across the wafer was demonstrated.

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© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Meltem Erdamar ; Karthikeyan Shanmugasundaram ; Paul Roman ; Paul Mumbauer ; Maria Klimkiewicz, et al.
"Deep lateral anhydrous HF/methanol etching for MEMS release processes", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 7(3), 033014 (July 30, 2008). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2959177


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