Subject: SNF etcher are fully permitted
From: Ed Myers <>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:31:11 -0700


We are pleased to report all four of the new etchers (dielectric, metal, 
deep silicon and the III-V) have completed the county permitting 
process.  We are now able to turn on all of the dozen, or so gases 
plumbed to the systems.  What remains ahead of us is the vendor start-up 
of the tools and our etch process characterizations.

At this time, Plasma-Therm is doing their installation start-up tests on 
the dielectric and metal etchers.  Their deep silicon process engineer 
will be on site next week.  It is the expectation of Plasma-Therm that 
all three of their etchers will be released to us by Friday, Sept. 
28th.  The Oxford III-V etcher is running a little slower.  I have a 
commitment from Oxford today saying they will have someone on site by no 
later than Monday, Sept. 24th to complete the tool installation and 
start-up.  I believe the Oxford is running about a week behind the 
Plasma-Therm systems and expect it to be released around Friday, Oct. 5th.

Once the tools are released, it is up the staff and the SNF community to 
drive the characterization of the etches.  The date for full release of 
the systems depends on how much manpower we can pull together to work 
through the characterizations.  Each etch vendor has recommended recipes 
for the more common etches.  We need to verify and document the 
performance for each of these recipes.  This requires the correct 
substrate material stacks, photolithography masking, etch recipe splits, 
metrology for etch rates, selectivity, CD loss, sidewall profiles, 
documentation of the operation procedures and updating the wiki.  Each 
recipe could take two full, hard weeks to collect all of this 
information.  When you multiply four etchers with multiple recipes, the 
total characterization time expands quickly.  If we all pull together we 
could start opening these systems up to the community by the end of 

SNF Staff