Plasma etching

Plasma etching is isotropic etching due to chemical reactions, usually practiced to remove material layers. Equivalent designations concerning the same process are Reactive Plasma Etching, Chemical Plasma Etching, Reactive Etching or Chemical Dry Etching (CDE).

The Plasma Etching process removes material layers from a substrate by causing chemical reactions with the molecules of a substrate. The process takes profit from the high reactivity of active spezies of a plasma. The process gas most frequently used is oxygene. The etching rate strongly depends from the chemical nature of the substrate ("selective" process).

Oxygene plasma does not etch surfaces which are allready oxidized.


Plasma etching is effective without taking profit from the physical effect of ion impact (see ⇒ion etching (IE), RIE).



plasma etching
Plasma etching process