Control of electron velocity distributions at the wafer by tailored voltage waveforms in capacitively coupled plasmas to compensate surface charging in high-aspect ratio etch features

Hartmann, P. and Wang, L. and Nösges, K. and Berger, B. and Wilczek, S. and Brinkmann, R.P. and Mussenbrock, T. and Juhasz, Z. and Donkó, Z. and Derzsi, A. and Lee, E. and Schulze, J.

Volume: 54 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/abf229
Published: 2021

Low pressure single- or dual-frequency capacitively coupled radio frequency (RF) plasmas are frequently used for high-aspect ratio (HAR) dielectric etching due to their capability to generate vertical ion bombardment of the wafer at high energies. Electrons typically reach the wafer at low energies and with a wide angular distribution during the local sheath collapse. Thus, in contrast to positive ions, electrons cannot propagate deeply into HAR etch features and the bottom as well as the sidewalls of such trenches can charge up positively, while the mask charges negatively. This causes etch stops and distortion of profile shapes. Here, we investigate low pressure, high voltage capacitively coupled RF argon gas discharges by Particle-In-Cell/Monte Carlo collisions simulations and demonstrate that this problem can be solved by Voltage Waveform Tailoring, i.e. the velocity and angular distribution of electrons impacting on the electrodes can be tuned towards high velocities and small angles to the surface-normal, while keeping the energies of the impacting ions high. The applied voltage waveforms consist of a base frequency of 400 kHz with 10 kV amplitude and a series of higher harmonics. A high frequency component at 40 or 60 MHz is used additionally. Square voltage waveforms with different rise-times are examined as well. We show that high fluxes of electrons towards the wafer at normal velocities of up to 2.2 × 107 m s-1 (corresponding to 1.4 keV energy) can be realized. © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.

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