The nanoETCH is a benchtop tool equipped with a high-uniformity plasma etching stage and an RF power supply for plasma generation. The tool was originally developed in collaboration with the graphene group at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, UK. This development was driven by the requirement within the research community for an etching tool that allowed for precision etching of sensitive 2D materials — not available in conventional RIE tools.
Today, the nanoETCH is available in two configurations: for Soft Etching, ideal for delicate work with graphene and 2D materials, and for fluorine-chemistry plasmas for applications needing a more aggressive approach.
nanoETCH tools can be fitted with stages for 3″/75mm, 4″/100 mm or 6″/150 mm maximum substrate diameters.
Today, nanoETCH tools are installed globally in leading graphene/2D material research labs including ICFO (Spain), the Cambridge Graphene Centre and the UK National Graphene Institute.
Soft Etching is the application of precisely-controlled low powers for etching applications involving highly sensitive materials (such as graphene) or where ultra-low etch rates are needed. This allows for the routine use of plasma powers <5 W (down to 100 mW or below, subject to configuration and process), with up to 10 mW control resolution.
Examples of applications of Soft Etching are:
For Soft Etching with graphene and 2D materials, tools are typically fitted for Ar and O2 process gases.
For more aggressive etch processes, nanoETCH systems can be configured for use with the fluorine-chemistry etchant gases SF6 and CHF3. For this, tools are equipped with a range of hardware and software enhancements.
Recent applications of fluorine-chemistry nanoETCH tools have included:
Graphene Soft Etching
nanoETCH base package with high-resolution RF power control, Ar and O2 etchant gases, capacitance manometer and high-resolution gas and automatic pressure control, and a 3”, 4” or 6” diameter substrate stage.
Fluorinated Etchant Gases for RIE
nanoETCH base package with fluorinated gases module for SF6 or CHF3, automatic purge and cleaning routines, capacitance manometer and high-resolution gas and automatic pressure control, and a 3”, 4” or 6” diameter substrate stage.
All nanoETCH systems require chilled water, dry compressed air, nitrogen for venting (optional), process gas supplies, and electrical power. Exact requirements will be provided with quotations or on request.
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