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Plasma etching pushes the limits of a shrinking world
Date:11/10/2011

of overlaying two patterns to achieve the original design) and directly shrinking structures smaller than the template dimensions.

Yet, plasma etching itself is now facing the fundamental limits imposed by the basic laws of physics and chemistry. Because etching is involved in forming the critical structures of every semiconductor device, Lam Research technologists are learning to better control the behavior of the various components of the plasma (a gaseous mixture of charged and neutral particles) during the etching process. The ultimate goal would be to selectively etch one layer of atoms at a time (atomic-layer etching or ALE), without disturbing the bulk of the material underneath.

Over the next 5 years, improving plasma etch technology will be key to extending Moore's Law further and manufacturing the next-generation of consumer electronics devices.


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Contact: Saralyn Stewart
stewart@physics.utexas.edu
512-694-2320
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

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