The Gaseous Electronics Conference’s (GEC) 75th Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference begins October 3rd in Sendai, Japan. This occasion marks a special meeting of plasma scientists and engineers gathering to share and promote ideas for industrial segments ranging from plasma sources, diagnostics, simulation, biotechnology, plasma chemistry, and atomic / molecular processes.
Esgee Technologies will be among the invited presenters this year, represented by Dr. Dmitry Levko. Our paper, “Development of validated fluorocarbon plasma chemistry for multi-dimensional modeling of semiconductor plasma etch processes” will be presented on October 6th at 10:30am local time. This paper is being presented as part of the “plasma etching” session within the conference.
In the invited talk, recent progress in the development and understanding of fluorocarbon plasma chemical mechanisms will be discussed. The mechanisms include perfluorocyclobutane (c-C₄F₈) and tetrafluoromethane (CF₄); two important gasses in plasma etching applications. The self-consistent plasma fluid simulation model coupled with a comprehensive finite-rate chemical reaction mechanism is used for the mechanism development and validation. First, the deficiencies of the existing mechanisms of plasma chemical reactions found in the literature will be discussed and the approach to improve these mechanisms will be presented. Second, the results of self-consistent simulations of inductively coupled plasmas in pure c-C₄F₈ and CF₄ with the experimental data available in the literature will be compared. Finally, the influence of various model parameters such as the surface reactions mechanism, gas pressure, discharge power, and electron stochastic heating length scale on the plasma parameters will be analyzed. The influence of these parameters on the kinetics of the dominant plasma species will be presented.
We sat down with Dr. Levko, who will be presenting on behalf of EsgeeTech this year, in order to learn more about the applications for this research and how they align with the conference’s goals:
What applications are there for fluorocarbon plasmas? And why choose GEC to discuss them?
Fluorocarbon, low-pressure plasmas are used in the semiconductor industry for etching applications. GEC is the most popular conference among scientists working on plasma engineering applications in both academic and industrial settings.
What is the quick take away from your talk and what new information is being shared?
In my talk, I will discuss EsgeeTech’s efforts in developing and validating mechanisms of plasma chemical reactions in fluorocarbons (C₄F₈ and CF₄), specifically for conditions that are typical of plasma etching reactors.
You used VizGlow in your research. Why choose VizGlow specifically? What scenarios / applications is it useful for?
In plasma simulations, having accurate, “high-fidelity” outcomes requires robust plasma chemistry. VizGlow’s extensive chemistry database is what really differentiates it from other commercially available softwares. VizGlow users like Applied Materials, Lam Research, Kioxia, SK Hynix, Samsung, and Toshiba have all benefited from the availability of over 150 highly complex and industrially relevant plasma chemistries.
VizGlow is designed for high-fidelity, multi-species, multi-dimensional numerical modeling and simulations of plasma reactors that are crucial in these domains. Additionally, EsgeeTech develops plasma chemistries based on the experimental mixtures currently being researched and developed by leaders in the semiconductor industry.
How complex are these plasma chemistries? Why does VizGlow work so well for complex chemistry compared to other softwares?
Typically, plasma chemistry involves hundreds or maybe thousands of reactions. VizGlow’s development has centered around getting the simulation fidelity right, by incorporating as detailed a mechanism as one can. Despite there being other softwares for simulation of plasmas, EsgeeTech’s development is clearly a physics first, fidelity-centered approach. This allows for computationally efficient coupling of plasma species like electrons and ions with neutral species across various time and spatial scales.
Can you tell us about any important chemistry that you are working on at the moment?
I’m afraid this is confidential information. I suggest following my work on Google Scholar or Researchgate to learn more about what I am working on.
How do you think VizGlow could help the semiconductor industry?
In an aggressive industry like semiconductors, a good predictive simulation model can be the difference between a product’s success or failure. The US is spending billions of dollars to spur innovation, but this money is only useful if it is used to pay for high-fidelity applications. VizGlow is a proven workhorse in the semiconductor industry for equipment concept development, design optimization, and semiconductor process / recipe development.
Thanks for reading! If you’re still curious about the topics discussed in this article, check out the following journal papers (and ask us for a free copy!):
Levko, D., (2022, October 6). Development of validated fluorocarbon plasma chemistry for multi-dimensional modeling of semiconductor plasma etch processes [Conference presentation]. GEC 2022 Convention, Sendai, Japan. https://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/GEC22/Session/ER2.3
Levko, Dmitry, et al. “Computational study of plasma dynamics and reactive chemistry in a low-pressure inductively coupled CF4/O2 plasma.” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena 39.4 (2021): 042202.
Levko, Dmitry, Chandrasekhar Shukla, and Laxminarayan L. Raja. “Modeling the effect of stochastic heating and surface chemistry in a pure CF4 inductively coupled plasma.” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena 39.6 (2021): 062204.
Levko, Dmitry, et al. “Plasma kinetics of c-C4F8 inductively coupled plasma revisited.” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena 40.2 (2022): 022203.
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