Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Advances in Atomic Layer Etch for Quantum and more

1 March 2023 | 8 - 10 am (PST) || 4 - 6 pm (GMT)

About this Webinar

Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) is an emerging etch technology that offers precise etch rates, surface smoothening, and ultra-low interface damage as compared to conventional RIE and ICP RIE.

We are thrilled to have two special guests for this event - Professor Austin Minnich from Caltech and Julian Michaels from the University of Illinois.
Prof. Minnich will discuss isotropic ALE of AlN, while Mr. Michaels will make the first public presentation of a novel process for anisotropic ALE of SiC. Oxford Instrument’s quantum technology expert, Dr. Russ Renzas, will host and provide a brief introduction.

ALE is critical for the next generation of power electronics, quantum devices, photonic integrated circuits, and more – watch the webinar now and learn how ALE can help you!

This webinar is in collaboration with:

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University of Illinois logo


08:00 - 08:35 (PST) | Dr Russ Renzas, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

Introduction to the webinar and overview of Atomic Layer Etch

Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) offers three advantages as compared to standard ICP RIE: precise etch rates, surface smoothening, and reduced damage. We will introduce both types of ALE – anisotropic and isotropic - and discuss key use cases.

08:35 - 08:55 (PST) | Julian Michaels, University of Illinois

Bias-pulsed Atomic Layer Etch of SiC

Atomic Layer Etching (ALE) is a cyclical etch that removes single atomic layers at a time. ALE methods exist for many semiconductors and is inimitable in precision etching; however, ALE is slow relative to other etching methods because reagent gases are purged between each cycle. This talk presents a novel approach to ALE for 4H-SiC that pulses only the plasma DC bias. This bias-pulsed ALE is approximately ten times faster than conventional ALE because gases are not purged. Atomic force microscopy scans show that this process can substantially smooth the etched surface.

08:55 - 09:15 (PST) | Prof. Austin Minnich, Professor, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Isotropic plasma-thermal atomic layer etching of aluminum nitride for quantum photonics applications

Aluminum nitride is a material of significant interest for quantum photonic integrated circuits owing to its simultaneous second and third-order optical nonlinearities. However, surface roughness induced light scattering originating from nano fabrication imperfections is a major limitation on various figures of merit. In this talk, I will describe an isotropic atomic layer etching (ALE) process we have developed which enables the etching and smoothing of AlN film surfaces with Angstrom precision. The process is based on the fluorination of AlN using an SF6 plasma, followed by a ligand-exchange reaction with trimethylaluminum to yield etching. A maximum etch rate of 1.9 A/cycle was observed at 300 C along with a 35% decrease in surface roughness after 50 cycles. The process has potential to advance the application of AlN for quantum photonics.

09:15 - 10:00 (PST) | Panel Discussion

Our presenters will continue the discussion regarding advances in Atomic layer Etch for Quantum. The panel will be open to your questions relating to the previous presentations or other related topics.

Meet Presenters

Russ Renzas

Dr Russ Renzas
Quantum Technology Manager at Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

Dr. Russ Renzas prior to joining Oxford Instruments, he was the Director of Device Fabrication at a superconducting quantum device manufacturer, Rigetti Computing. Dr. Renzas has over 15 years of experience in science with over 3,000 academic citations, and is a co-inventor on two patents in superconducting quantum device fabrication. He has given presentations at leading institutions all over the world.

Julian Michaels

Julian Michaels
Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Julian Michaels's work focuses on developing novel nanofabrication techniques for quantum and optical devices.

Austin Minnich

Prof. Austin Minnich
Professor in Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology and the Deputy Division Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Professor Austin Minnich's research interests include the development of next-generation nanofabrication processes for quantum technologies. He received his Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in 2006 and his PhD from MIT in 2011, after which he started his position at Caltech. He is the recipient of a 2013 NSF CAREER Award, a 2015 ONR Young Investigator Award, a 2017 Director of Research Award from the Office of Naval Research, the 2017 Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award, and a 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

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