Reports of plasma instability

jim kruger jimkruger at
Thu Nov 17 10:53:37 PST 2011

I see several recent reports of plasma instability.

When making such a report, please include the detailed recipe, such problems are usually very recipe dependent.

If  your recipe is having trouble, try a more standard recipe (i.e. oxygen), tune it up, then creep back with the tuning from there to see if your recipe works better.  Include in your report how the standard recipe worked.

On most systems, do not run high reflected power for more than ~ 20 seconds while attempting to tune.  Reduce power unttil you can find the tuning values, then increase , re-tuning as you go. High reflected power can degrade the RF generator.  

           The one exception to this is PQuest MICROWAVE POWER (not the RF).  On PQuest, the reflected microwave power is directed to a water-cooled dummy load so will not damage the generator. Thus it is OK to run moderate reflected power if that is the only way to keep things stable.  I believe the only downsides are larger carbon footprint and the blow to your ego that you were not able to make it work better.

I am always happy to consult on etch recipes.

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