Dry etching refers to the removal of material, typically a masked pattern of semiconductor material, by exposing the material to a bombardment of ions (usually a plasma of reactive gases such as fluorocarbons, oxygen, chlorine, boron trichloride; sometimes with addition of nitrogen, argon, helium and other gases) that dislodge portions of the material from the exposed surface. A common type of dry etching is reactive-ion etching. Unlike with many (but not all, see isotropic etching) of the wet chemical etchants used in wet etching, the dry etching process typically etches directionally or anisotropically.
HORIBA's expertise in analytical instrumentation has provided the foundations for a range of successful industrial monitoring tools for the semiconductor, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
With its new compact design and enhanced image quality, the LEM interferometer for in-situ etch rate monitoring and end-point detection can be mounted on any process chamber with a direct top view of the wafer. It provides a real-time digital CCD image of the sample surface, making its 30-m laser beam positioning simple and accurate. Based on interferometry technique, the LEM provide in-situ etch/growth rate monitoring for endpoint detection of a wide range of dry etch applications.