Plasma etching is a form of surface treatment in which larger quantities of material are impacted and removed. Plasma etching leads to a deep structuring of the surface.

Plasma Etching - How it Works

Reactive ions that are created within the plasma react with surface atoms. The resultant volatile side products are removed from the chamber with the plasma gas. The plasma etching process can be modified further by adding activated neutral (uncharged) molecules to the process.

There are two main options for plasma etching:

  • Without etching masks- Plasma etching generates a uniform roughness which makes paints and glues adhere to high-temperature resistant polymers such as PTFE (better known as Teflon).
  • With the aid of etching masks- Plasma etching carves a controlled, functional microstructure into the surface.

While plasma etching with masks, it is important to control the direction of material removal. Isotropic plasma etching will lead to a “ballooning” of cavities under the mask, while anisotropic plasma etching will result in pits with almost vertical walls. Control is mostly achieved by adjusting the chemistry (different gases used in chamber) of the plasma etching procedure. With a Thierry plasma system, all these options are available.

Plasma Etching - Users and Uses

  • Semiconductor technology – plasma etching is the main tool during the production process of integrated circuits, including the ashing of photoresists.
  • Medical technology – plasma etching enables the coating and joining of inert, biocompatible materials which would not stick together otherwise.
  • Painting technology - Etching is used for paint and glue adhesion with high temperature resistant plastics; examples include PTFE, PFA, and FEP (types of Teflon).

More Information

Plasma Technology Brochure


Zepto PC 03
Zepto PC 03 | Thierry Corp. Plasma Systems
Atto ext PC 03
Atto ext PC 03 | Thierry Corp. Plasma Systems
Tetra 600 LF PC
Tetra 600 LF PC | Thierry Corp. Plasma Systems
Tetra 2000 LF PC
Tetra 2000 LF PC | Thierry Corp. Plasma Systems

Contact form light

Contact Request
**required if you want a callback