Reactive ion etching (RIE) is a dry technology and is used on almost all materials that are used in electronics and optoelectronics. The substrate or sample is bombarded with charged particles that remove layer by layer from the surface, in a reproducible and anisotropic manner.
Reactive ion etching (RIE) is primarily used for anisotropic structuring of silicon, organic and inorganic dielectric materials, metallic barrier materials, and polymers for electronic and optoelectronic applications.
To remove silicon or silicon-containing layers, mainly fluorine-based attack gases such as CF4 and SF6 are used.
For etching organic molecules or removal of inorganic layers of organic residues, oxygen plasmas or gas mixtures of O2 and CF4 are used.
Metallic layers are removed primarily by physical removal generally by argon plasma.
Some examples of applications are: