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New Deep Reactive Ion Etching Process Developed for the Microfabrication of Silicon CarbideSilicon carbide (SiC) is a promising material for harsh environment sensors and electronics because it can enable such devices to withstand high temperatures and corrosive environments. Microfabrication techniques have been studied extensively in an effort to obtain the same flexibility of machining SiC that is possible for the fabrication of silicon devices. Bulk micromachining using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) is attractive because it allows the fabrication of microstructures with high aspect ratios (etch depth divided by lateral feature size) in single-crystal or polycrystalline wafers. Previously, the Sensors and Electronics Branch of the NASA Glenn Research Center developed a DRIE process for SiC using the etchant gases sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and argon (Ar). This process provides an adequate etch rate of 0.2 m/min and yields a smooth surface at the etch bottom. However, the etch sidewalls are rougher than desired, as shown in the preceding photomicrograph. Furthermore, the resulting structures have sides that slope inwards, rather than being precisely vertical. A new DRIE process for SiC was developed at Glenn that produces smooth, vertical sidewalls, while maintaining an adequately high etch rate.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Evans, Laura J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Beheim, Glenn M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 2004
Subject Category
Metals And Metallic Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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