Skip to main content

Processing in the Silicon Cluster Tool

This page provides additional details on processing in the Silicon cluster tool.

Photo of a square metal chamber with a larger metal flange on the top, a viewing port on the front, and a large-diameter metal elbow on the left. A small metal box is attached on the right side of the main chamber and is marked with a yellow and black sign that says "Caution Hot Surface, Do Not Touch."  Two heater cables go from the side of this box to inside the large flange. The unit is labeled with a sign that says "Plasma Etching." The top of the Silicon cluster tool is seen in the background.

Plasma etching tool attached to the Silicon cluster tool.

Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) Etching Chamber

This hollow-cathode plasma source is used for process etching and hydrogenating multicrystalline and film crystalline silicon.


  • Process etching of amorphous, microcrystalline, and crystalline silicon (a-Si:H, µc-Si, and c-Si)
  • Cleaning hydrocarbons from surfaces
  • Hydrogenating multicrystalline and film crystalline silicon
  • Researching a-SiNx:H etching

Specific features:

  • Substrate temperature up to 400°C with uniformity of ±12°C
  • Cathode-to-substrate distance is 5 cm and is adjustable
  • PECVD performed at 13.56 MHz
  • SF6, H2, O2, and Ar are available for cleaning substrates
  • Etching is performed with SF6
  • Gases available are C2H6 and CF4
  • Gas flow rates from 0 to 500 sccm
  • Base pressure ~10-8 torr (ultra-high vacuum)
  • Process pressures up to 1 torr
  • Plasma viewports

For more information, contact Qi Wang.