A new approach of ion/atom beam etching is proposed, which utilizes the projectile mass dependence of the sputtering process. As a model experiment, we etch YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7-δ films using inert gases having different masses. Various etching characteristics are found to depend evidently on the mass of the gases. Substantial improvements such as 2.5-fold increase of the etching selectivity and the reduction of the etching damage of the etched area are demonstrated by using Kr. A primitive semi-empirical extension of Sigmund theory is proposed, which explains the results indeed as a mass effect and suggests the directions of further improvements. The results show a new important factor in plasma and ion/atom beam etching, which can be useful for realizing artificial structures of metal oxides.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films