/High-throughput atomic etching for Angstrom-era patterning

High-throughput atomic etching for Angstrom-era patterning

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Work on the next breakthrough in Advanced Etching and contribute to the development of new paradigms in Semiconductor devices.

The evolution of logic towards 3D architectures and the introduction of new ultra-thin materials bring along many patterning challenges such as extreme pattern fidelity and control of the damages caused to sensitive materials. While Atomic Layer Etching in principle proposes solutions to these challenges, its adoption is severely impacted by its extremely low throughput. The ideal etching process would offer a comparable performance with Atomic Layer Etching at an etch rate closer to conventional plasma etching, while minimizing the consumption of environment-unfriendly gases.

In this MSc work, you will contribute to the development of a new hybrid approach between Atomic Layer Etching and conventional plasma etching to bridge the gap between both methods and tackle upcoming challenges. After a thorough literature review to understand the particularities of the material and its etching requirements, you will explore how this new approach can resolve the challenges that conventional etching otherwise encounters. In collaboration with international experts in advanced patterning, you will work towards the understanding and demonstration of innovative approaches. Your work will contribute to the development of new paradigms in Semiconductor devices.

You will develop competences in:

  • Plasma-surface interactions
  • Plasma Etching fundamentals
  • Using state-of-the-art etching tools.
  • Various techniques to characterize ultra-thin layers, including their thicknesses, surface energies, compositions, and morphologies.




As the topic focuses on Plasma Etching and Material characterization, a broad interest in Physics and characterization methods (Ellipsometry, Contact Angle measurements, X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, etc.) are desired. You are a curious, independent, and resourceful person with good reporting and communication skills. The ability to communicate in English is a requirement in IMEC’s international environment.

Type of work:

20% literature study and trainings, 60% experimental work in 300 mm clean-room, 20% reporting, article redaction.

Type of project: Internship, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 8-12 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics, Materials Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Atefeh Fathzadeh (Atefeh.Fathzadeh@imec.be) and Philippe Bezard (Philippe.Bezard@imec.be)

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