Xactix XeF2 Isotropic Silicon etch system

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

Additional Restrictions
  • Wafers up to 150 mm
  • Pieces are allowed as well

This is a XeF2 based vapor phase etch system for isotropic and selective silicon etching.


XeF2 isotropic silicon etching is particularly well suited for MEMS applications. The XeF2 reaction with silicon is purely chemical and spontaneous (ie, plasmaless). XeF2 vapor phase etching exhibits nearly infinite selectivity of silicon to photoresist, SiO2, Si3N4, and aluminum. Being a vapor phase etchant, XeF2 avoids many common problems during release such as stiction,etc.

Processes Available

Custom process recipes can be created by the user depending on their individual device/process needs using the following modes.

Normal mode uses a pulsed etch with set XeF2 pressure and etch time. The advanced normal mode allows a fixed base pressure setting between cycles for enhanced throughput.


The primary application is for release of metal and dielectric structures by selective isotropic etching of silicon (ie, single crystal silicon, polysilicon, and amorphous silicon). This process can also be used to complement DRIE etching of silicon.