Thursday, September 6, 2018

Atomic Layer Etching: Rethinking the Art of Etch

Yet another Must Read ALE journal publication from Lam Reaserach Keren Kanarik and team. Please enyoy!

Atomic Layer Etching: Rethinking the Art of Etch

Keren J. Kanarik, Samantha Tan, and Richard A. Gottscho
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2018 9 (16), 4814-4821
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b0099
 
 
Atomic layer etching (ALE) is the most advanced etching technique in production today. In this Perspective, we describe ALE in comparison to long-standing conventional etching techniques, relating it to the underlying principles behind the ancient art of etching. Once considered too slow, we show how leveraging plasma has made ALE a thousand times faster than earlier approaches. While Si is the case study ALE material, prospects are better for strongly bound materials such as C, Ta, W, and Ru. Among the ALE advantages discussed, we introduce an ALE benefit with potentially broad application—the ALE smoothing effect—in which the surface flattens. Finally, regarding its well-established counterpart of atomic layer deposition (ALD), we discuss the combination of ALE and ALD in tackling real world challenges at sub-10 nm technology nodes