The Fall 2023 Dry Etch Expert Group meeting (organized in Sinaia, Romania) gathered 18 experts from 10 nanolabs, and covered a broad range of topics, including Training, Hardware, Cleaning, Conditioning, and Processing. Discussions regarding tool-sharing methodology continued with updates from the Oxford Pilot Group, Estrelas Group, and Pegasus Group. We have agreed to soon create two working groups, the Rapier and the Synapse-APS group, while the creation of a working group focused on III-V materials is currently being considered.
One of the focal points of the meeting was the free discussions regarding how to tackle current environmental concerns regarding the use of SF6 in nanofabrication facilities. While SF6 is of utmost importance for dry etching tools, it is also one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Aspects regarding decomposition and neutralization methods have been discussed.
Other points of discussion were centered around the bonding techniques used for plasma etching and the contamination induced by the flakes (ALF).
Another session was devoted to drafting a tender and the acceptance procedure for dry etching tools.
During this meeting, we marked the first cooperation with other Expert Groups currently acting in the ENL consortium. Ausrine Bartasyte, the coordinator of the ENL Training Group discussed the ongoing work to implement training sessions for experts and users. In the near future, the ENL Dry Etch Expert Group will try to implement lectures and presentations from top experts on hardware and processing methods.
For 2024 we plan to organize two more meetings, one in the Netherlands at MESA+ institute, and one in Latvia at the Institute of Solid-State Physics.
Dr. Djaffar Belharet
Coordinator of the Dry Etch Expert Group
Dr. Andrei Avram
Co-coordinator of the Dry Etch Expert Group