DRIE silicon etch

For training, please contact the Tool Manager(s).

Additional Restrictions
  • Whole 4 wafers only
  • Thermal / PECVD SiO2, photoresist, Al2O3 etch masks ONLY
  • If mask is resist, 5mm of the edge must be removed
  • See tool manager about bonding wafer pieces to carrier

The PlasmaTherm Versaline system is a state of the art tool for DRIE of silicon. It provides the etch precision and process latitude necessary to create next generation nanoscale and MEMS devices. This platform enables sub-second etch and deposition steps producing much smoother sidewalls as scalloping is reduced to a minimum.


The tool is equipped for both 4 and 6-inch wafers, as well as pieces which can be mounted on a handle wafer. It also has a highly sensitive optical emission spectroscopy system (OES) to enable SOI endpoint detection which eliminates notching.

Processes Available

Etching of Silicon or Germanium can be done with photoresists, ebeam resists, silicon oxide, and ALD Al2O3 masks. Selectivity to PR is 100:1, SiO2 selectivity as high as 340:1, while Al2O3 has selectivity ~ 1000:1. Trench aspect ratios of up to 50:1 and isolated line aspect ratios of 200:1 are achievable.


DRIE is vital to the fabrication of many MEMS devices including microfluidics, RF MEMS, biological MEMS, as well as integrated CMOS structures.