Vapor Release Etch for MEMS

Dry vapor etch utilising HF or XeF2 is used for the isotropic etch removal of sacrificial silicon or oxide layers to release flexures or other MEMS devices with enhanced selectivity and without stiction. This provides controlled, residue-free etching across a wide range of etch rates.

Key applications for vapor release technology include inertial sensors, mirror arrays, resonators, RF MEMS, micro-actuators and microphones.

Benefits of SPTS Vapor HF Release for MEMS

  • Dry process, which eliminates stiction and corrosion
  • Eliminates the need for critical point drying
  • Repeatable, stable performance with a wide process window
  • Compatible with a wide range of device materials including metals, especially unprotected aluminium (Al) mirrors and bond pads
  • Reduced pressure operation keeps etch by-products in the gas phase ensuring maximum feature penetration and no condensation

Benefits of SPTS XeF2 Release for MEMS

  • Isotropic etching Si, Ge, Mo & SiGe with an extremely high selectivity, compared to most other mask and device materials
    • Allows long undercuts and no damage to very thin device structures
    • Enables the use of low-cost photoresist masks
    • Can be used to release MEMS structures after dicing and packaging
  • Dry process - eliminates stiction and the need for critical point drying
  • Repeatable, stable performance with a wide process window
  • Gas phase processing ensures maximum feature penetration through small holes and spaces

​Related Product Information

HF Etch Product Info  XeF2 Product Information