Intermediate solution for Arcing on AMT-Etcher

Jim McVittie mcvittie at
Thu Jun 17 08:55:27 PDT 2004

AMT-Etcher Users,

As you know, we have been experiencing a lot of so called arcing on the
AMT-Etcher. It is to the point that it is occurring daily.  I did some
tests yesterday and was able to run process #3 three times without
arcing. I changed both the process and the loading procedure. Until we
have a better solution, I want all users to make these changes in their
use of the tool. The changes are as follows:

1. Lower the maximum bias voltage setting to **** –500 volts ****. This
will have a small affect on oxide etch rates but it will be worth it if
it avoids arcing. There was an etch rate test done last night but I do
not have the results. I expect the etch rate reduction to be in the
range of 5%.

2. Push trays up during loading.  Part of the arcing problem is due some
worn parts which have increased the horizontal gap between the plastic
pieces at the top of the trays after they are loaded. For now to reduce
this gap, where the arcing occurs, I want you to push or pull up on the
bottom of the trays as you chip or clamp the top of the trays. This
should minimize the gap and thus reduce arcing.

    Thanks,  Jim
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