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Selective etching of silicon nitride over silicon oxide using ClF3 /H2 remote plasma

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Researchers from Sungkyunkwan University, MIT and others present an option for selective etching.

Abstract
“Precise and selective removal of silicon nitride (SiNx) over silicon oxide (SiOy) in a oxide/nitride stack is crucial for a current three dimensional NOT-AND type flash memory fabrication process. In this study, fast and selective isotropic etching of SiNx over SiOy has been investigated using a ClF3/H2 remote plasma in an inductively coupled plasma system. The SiNx etch rate over 80 nm/min with the etch selectivity (SiNx over SiOy) of ~ 130 was observed under a ClF3 remote plasma at a room temperature. Furthermore, the addition of H2 to the ClF3 resulted in an increase of etching selectivity over 200 while lowering the etch rate of both oxide and nitride due to the reduction of F radicals in the plasma. The time dependent-etch characteristics of ClF3, ClF3 & H2 remote plasma showed little loading effect during the etching of silicon nitride on oxide/nitride stack wafer with similar etch rate with that of blank nitride wafer.”

Find the open access technical paper here. Published April 2022.

Lee, W., Kim, K., Kim, D. et al. Selective etching of silicon nitride over silicon oxide using ClF3/H2 remote plasma. Sci Rep 12, 5703 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09252-3.

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