Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Reactive Ion Etching (RIE)

Reactive Ion Etching (or RIE) is a simple operation and an economical solution for general plasma etching. A single RF plasma source determines both ion density and energy.

Our RIE modules deliver anisotropic dry etching for
an extensive range of processes.



Multiple choices of etch processes:

  • Chemical etching – isotropic, fast rate
  • Ion induced etching – anisotropic, medium rate
  • Physical etching – anisotropic, slow rate
  • Wide applications in semiconductor de-processing and failure analysis
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RIE features:

  • Solid state RF generators and close coupled matching network for fast and consistent etching
  • Full area process gas inlet showerhead for uniform gas distribution
  • Electrodes for temperatures from -150ºC to +400ºC
  • High pumping capacity gives wide process pressure window
  • Wafer clamping with He backside cooling is available for optimum wafer temperature control

A wide range of materials can be etched, including:

  • Dielectric materials (SiO2, SiNx, etc.)
  • Silicon-based materials (Si, a-Si, poly-Si)
  • III-V materials (GaAs, InP, GaN, etc.)
  • Sputtered metals (Au, Pt, Ti, Ta, W, etc.)
  • Diamond-like carbon (DLC)
PlasmaPro 80
PlasmaPro 100
PlasmaPro 800
Electrode size 240mm 240mm 460mm
Loading Open load Load locked or cassette Open load
Substrates Up to 240mm
200mm with carriers options available for multi-wafers or small pieces Up to 460mm
MFC controlled gaslines 8 or 12 line gas box available
Wafer stage temperature range -150°C to 400°C
-150°C to 400°C 10°C to 80°C
He Back side cooling option Yes Yes No
ICP Option Yes Yes No
Focused Plasma Yes No Yes

We had the honour to discuss with Dr Oscar Kennedy, UCLQ Postdoctoral Fellow, and Dr Wing Ng, Senior Research Fellow, from University College London (UCL) about their latest research projects and how they use our PlasmaPro® 80 RIE system.

Dr Oscar Kennedy has used PlasmaPro RIE system to create superconducting circuit by etching the superconducting NbN film, whereas Dr Wing Ng has used the RIE system to accurately pattern a 50 nm gap with smooth sidewalls between a pair of waveguides for chip‑based optical buffers. Read the case study to learn more.

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RIE Systems

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