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MRC Model 55 RIE, mrc

The MRC is a general purpose, plasma reactive ion etching system, used to etch a variety of materials, including oxides, nitrides, silicons, and some organic films. This system accommodates the most etch processing needs for non-CMOS compatible materials. It is a manual system which can accommodate wafer pieces and wafers up to 6".

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 MRC Model 55 RIE

MRC Model 55 RIE


MRC Etcher Operating Procedures

Function: Plasma etch of Oxide, Nitride, Resist, Poly.



  • Wafer pieces or whole wafers up to 6"
  • Single wafer system
  • Ar sputter etching of metals
  • Gases available: O2, Ar, SF6, CHClF2 (Freon 22) or CHF3 (Freon 23)

Special Notes or Restrictions:


  • This machine is GOLD contaminated.
  • This machine allows most materials
  • See Materials section for details
  • If using CHF3 (usually used for SiO2 etching) a short O2 plasma etch is recommended to remove any polymer that may have deposited on the surface of the sample.  Please see Polymer Removal.


We do not have a staff member assigned to training on it at this time.  What we suggest is that labmembers wanting training on the tool contact a trained research group co-worker or other trained labmember for training and/or shadowing.  Once the 'trainee' is comfortable in the use of the tool they contact the responsible Process Staff member for badger qualification.  This is done with the understanding that the newly trained labmember may be approached for training eventually.

If you cannot find someone to train you after looking at history in badger please contact the responsible Process Staff member and a trainer will be identified.

The labmember is responsible for having read and understood any and all documentation related to the tool. A Training Check List is included in these Operating Instructions. It can be a good tool to make sure everything has been covered in the shadowing session.

Please print and fill out this Shadowing Form. After the session give the form to the responsible staff member for qualification.

Operating Procedures:


The MRC is an entirely manual system, with few interlocks to protect it. Carefully follow these procedures, step-by-step, to avoid damaging this system.


Check Standby Conditions:

  • Check CAPACITANCE MANOMETER (black cylinder in the back) is isolated.
    • Valve should be perpendicular to the gas line.
  • Check ROUGH VALVE is closed and FORELINE VALVE is open.
    • Toggle is towards FORELINE side and green light is on
    • Red light is on for the ROUGH side
  • Check that the GAS INLET TOGGLE is closed.
    • Green toggle on the side of the cabinet is in the OFF position.
  • Check GATE VALVE is closed
    • The closed position is when it is cranked all the way clockwise.
  • Check the AC Line Switch on the RF power supply is off and the Power Adjust Knob is set to zero.

Venting the Chamber

  • Open (N2) VENT Whitey VALVE
    • At side of the chamber, Whitey valve should be parallel to vent line.
  • Open CHAMBER when vented
    • intlk open - -light on - - N2 starts to leak out

Pumping Down the Chamber

  • Load sample and close lid to chamber
  • Close N2 VENT Whitey VALVE
    • Valve should be perpendicular to vent line
  • Close FORELINE VALVE to isolate the outlet of the diffusion pump
    • Toggle to middle (red light on) position.
  • Wait 15 seconds THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP.
    • Hold down chamber lid
    • Toggle to ROUGH position (green light comes on)
    • WAIT until ROUGH T/C readout is below FORELINE readout (~100mT).
    • Toggle to middle position (red light comes on)
    • WAIT 15 seconds THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP.
    • Toggle to FORELINE position (green light comes on)
  • Open ISOLATION VALVE (manometer to horizontal position)
    • Note: LED is now reading chamber pressure in mTorr.
  • Open GATE VALVE slowly
    • Counterclockwise - until below 10 mTorr
    • WAIT ~ 2 minutes for the chamber to reach its base pressure
      • Capacitance-manometer should read zero. If not, record value and correct all pressure reading by this value.
  • Check that the appropriate WHITEY VALVES at the backwall are set for the required gases.
    • If the 3 way valve is on the wrong gas, move to center position and pump out line (to prevent cross contamination of the gas lines) before switching to the required gas.
  • Open GAS INLET TOGGLE on the side of the cabinet. 
  • Toggle on selected gases on mass flow controllers on main panel (toggle from OFF to AUTO).
    • Note that flow readout is only accurate for set-up gas for each MFC. Correction factors are available for other gases and posted on the side of the system.

PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT DEPOSITION ON THE CHAMBER WALL WHICH MAY AFFECT CURRENT PROCESSES. THEREFORE, IF YOUR PROCESS MAY MAKE A DEPOSIT - CHECK WITH THE RESPONSIBLE SNF STAFF PERSON BEFORE USING IT. You may be required to clean up and recondition the chamber. Some of the processes that have caused problems are : 100% SF6 and 100% CHF3. If the pyrex chamber shield  is dirty, use lint free wipes or and IPA at the solvent bench to clean it.  Do not clean it in place as that will produce particles in the chamber.

  • Adjust gas flows with set point dial on MFC's.
  • Adjust pressure with gate valve.
  • With the RF power level at 0, turn on the AC Line switch..
  • Adjust desired RF power (or desired RF VOLTAGE setting)
  • Turn the Meter Select Switch to Reverse and adjust INPUT TUNE and LOAD TUNE dials to minimize reflected RF power (below 10W).
  • Time manually

When etch is complete:

  • Turn RF power to 0.
  • RF AC Line switch to off.
  • Set gas flows on MFC's back to zero. Wait for MFC readouts to reach zero.
  • Gas toggles off
  • Gas inlet toggle closed.
  • Close gate valve (all the way clockwise is closed)
  • Close ISOLATION VALVE (manometer to vertical position)
  • To VENT CHAMBER -- go to above venting procedure.

Shutdown Procedure

  • Close N2 vent whitey valve
    • Perpendicular to vent line
  • Close FORELINE valve to isolate the outlet of the diffusion pump
    • Toggle to middle (red light on) position.
  • Wait 15 seconds THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP.
  • Open rough valve
    • Hold down chamber lid
    • Toggle to rough position (green light comes on)
    • Wait until rough T/C readout is below foreline readout (~150mT).
  • Close rough valve
    • Toggle to middle position (red light comes on)
  • Open foreline valve
    • Toggle to foreline position (green light comes on)
  • Leave three way gas selector valves alone (so the next user can tell which gases were last used.)
  • Check that gate valve is closed and system should be left under vacuum.
  • Check RF is off, gas toggles are off and isolation valve is closed.

Monitor Results

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