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Photo by Matthias Neuenschwander, EPFL - LBNI

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UV light from ambient environment increases the \mathrm{Si_3N_4} etch rate in \mathrm{XeF_2} etching

Releasing mechanical structures is a fundamental step in MEMS processing. Given the wide usage of silicon nitride ( \mathrm{Si_3N_4} ) on silicon (Si) carrier due to high stress and high mechanical Q factors, high etching selectivity between \mathrm{Si_3N_4} and Si is very crucial for the release process. Here we demonstrate that UV light from ambient light sources in a cleanroom environment (EPFL - CMi) can increase the etch rate of \mathrm{Si_3N_4} ...