To the human body, XeF2 is harmful if swallowed / skin contact / inhaled, and causes mild skin and eye irritation. It may cause breathing difficulty if inhaled.
The SPTS Xactix X4 system stores the XeF2 gas supply in a locked and ventilated gas box. The system is fitted with a built in, retractable fume hood with hardware interlock for safe operation.
Open load R&D etcher that handles multiple types of substrates within its 150mm diameter chamber.
Isotropic and controlled chemical etching of Si. Pulsed or continuous flow.
Dual expansion chambers design for process speed-up with fast pulse delivery.
Heating of key components to increase available XeF2 pressures and flows, and to avoid condensation.
Microscope for viewing through the transparent process chamber lid.
XeF2 is a solid powder with vapor pressure of ~4T at room temperature.
This powder is contained in a gas-like bottle fitted with a heated jacket (40°C) for a supply of XeF2 vapor at forced pressure (up to 10T in expansion chambers).
The XeF2 etching process is very sensitive to moisture: the system includes automatic pump/purge sequences after each new opening of chamber lid (load/unload).
In pulsed mode (normal mode), the XeF2 vapor first fills one expansion chamber to pressure setpoint. The vapor then flows from the expansion chamber to the etching chamber and remains for a preset time of etching. During this pulse etching time, a second expansion chamber gets ready to pressure setpoint, and flows to etching chamber after pump to base pressure is reached from previous pulse.
The system can also work as a continuous flow to the chamber with limited pressure (MFC Flow Through mode). The system will then use a mass flow controller for constant supply of XeF2 vapor to the etching chamber (max 10sccm with XeF2 bottle at 40°C) instead of pulsing from the expansion chambers.
The etching chamber is closed by a transparent lid, to allow for top-view inspection of the samples during etching with the microscope.