Reactive ion etching of glasses: Composition dependence

Ezz Eldin Metwalli, Carlo G. Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Magnetically enhanced reactive ion etching (MERIE) of silicate and phosphate glasses was examined in CF4/CHF3 and Ar plasmas. The etch depths were measured by profilometery to obtain etching rates as a function of plasma power, plasma composition and glass composition. It was found that in fluorocarbon plasmas, the etch rate of glasses decreases as the concentration of less-volatile oxides in the glass increases. These etching rates were interpreted in terms of ion-enhanced chemical reaction and physical sputtering. The compositions of the etched surfaces were determined with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A high chemical reaction rate between the reactive (ion) species in the plasma and the glass surface was observed during the early stages of etching which lead to depletion of highly volatile species (SiF4 and BF3) and accumulation of less volatile species (AlF3, BaF2, NaF, etc.). At longer times, the glass surface reached a steady state composition (of the less volatile species) and subsequent etching was dominated by physical sputtering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2003
EventSymposium: Ion beam processing and modification of glasses and - St.Louis, Missouri, United States
Duration: Apr 28 2002May 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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