PlasmaQuest Use

Jim McVittie mcvittie at
Wed Jun 18 18:45:32 PDT 2003


As I told you earlier today, I am in the process of reviewing the use of the
PQ since it is presently not meeting its primary function of supporting the
fabrication of III-V devices.  I understand your concerns about its future
availability for non-III-V materials. We are exploring ways of getting the
tool back on-track for III-V etching and keeping it available for the etching
non-III-V materials. Since I view the III-V users as the primary owners of
this tool, I am first focusing on what it will take to meet their needs. The
non-III-V users are important but the bottom line is this tool was
specifically purchased for III-V material etching and it absolutely must meet
this need first. Presently, we are looking at a plan that would slit up the
use of the tool over the week into a III-V use period and a non-III-V period.
The plan would be that a specific set of cleaning and seasoning steps would be
run at the start of each III-V use period to get the chamber to a baseline
condition where consistent GaAs/AlGaAs etching is achieved. Since we really do
not understand what this baseline condition is, this will take some
experimentation to achieve.  I have an optical spectrometer (200 to 1000nm)
which maybe useful here.

As for the non-III-V materials, there are lots of questions which I can not
answer right now.  For one it is not clear that all the present processes are
compatible with the III-V etching. I am still going over the recent problems
to see if there is a consistent pattern that need more study.  For another,
the non-III-V materials probably need their own cleaning/season procedure to
get consistent results. Here the users will have to work out their procedures
for the different materials. There is also the question of allowing new
processes into the etcher. We may have been too loose in the past and let we
want to be as flexible as possible.

Once I have a proposal that satisfies the III-V users, I will send it out to
everyone for comments.   If you want to propose something for the non-III-V
use period, it is fine with me.  Hopefully, we can come up with something that
meets all the users needs.

    Thanks,   Jim

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