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

Zepto PC 03

Atto ext PC 03

Tetra 600 LF PC

Tetra 2000 LF PC

Plasma Services

Learn About Thierry's Plasma Services Read More

Connect With Thierry

Do you have questions or comments for us?  Send us an email or request a call back and a Thierry representative will get back with you as soon as possible.

Contact Us