High aspect ratio plasma etching of bulk Lead Zirconate Titanate

Srimath S. Subasinghe, Abhijat Goyal, Srinivas A. Tadigadapa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) is a high energy density active material with good piezoelectric coefficient and electromechanical coupling constant making it highly suitable for microsystems applications. In this paper, we present a rapid anisotropic high aspect ratio etching process for defining micron size features in PZT. We used an inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching (ICP-RIE) system employing sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and argon (Ar) based chemistry. A seed layer of Au/Cr was lithographically patterned onto fine lap finished PZT-4 substrates followed by electrodeposition of a thick 2-5 μm nickel on the seed layer, which acts as a hard mask during the etching process. The demonstrated technique was used to etch bulk PZT ceramic substrates, thereby opening possibilities for integration of bulk PZT substrates and structures into microsystems. A maximum etch rate of 19 μm/hr on PZT-4 and 25 μm/hr for PZT-5A compositions was obtained using 2000 W of ICP power, 475 W of substrate power, 5 seem of SF 6, and 50 seem of Ar on PZT substrate. We have also demonstrated a high aspect ratio etch (>5:1) on a 3 μm feature size. Detailed analysis of the effects of ICP power, substrate power, and the etch gas composition on the etch rate of PZT are also presented in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 3 2006
EventMicromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2006Jan 25 2006


OtherMicromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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