The March Asher, (PX-250), is a batch etch tool designed for a multiplicity of plasma process applications. The electrodes and sample plates can be quickly rearranged to create direct plasma, reactive ion etch, and down stream plasma conditions for different applications. This system consists of three modules: a Reaction Chamber, a Process Controller Module and a solid state RF power generator. The reaction chamber is accessed by a double front door equipped with a window in the inner door for viewing the etch progress. The process controller monitors and sequences the variable parameters of the plasma process, including chamber pressure, RF power, process timing and gas flow rates. We normally operate the system in its Automatic mode, simply changing the parameter limits as needed.
At UTD, the system is normally used to “de-scum” photoresist with an O2 RIE plasma after develop and before etch to improve etch uniformity. Occasionally the electrodes are switched to create a direct plasma or a downstream plasma for chemical etching with little or no bombardment assist from the RIE configuration.