There are two types of plasma etching
: Anisotropic etching
and Isotropic etching
. The differences between isotropic and anisotropic etching
has to do with the shape that they carve out under the etching mask. Anisotropic etching
is when the plasma etch is perpendicular and occurs in one direction whereas isotropic etching occurs when the plasma etch
is in all directions. Anisotropic etching
and isotropic etching are possible to accomplish using Thierry’s low-pressure plasma systems.
is used in the production of wafers for semiconductor technology. The perpendicular anisotropic etch
is perfect for carving out circuit patterns. Anisotropic etching
is achieved by using a process called reactive ion etching (RIE)
. By placing electrodes on either side of the object being etched the ions then bounce from one electrode to the other barraging the material surface at a perpendicular angle. This avoids the rounding of the etch that occurs in isotropic etching.