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Term (Index) Definition
plasma etching  dry etching in which semiconductor wafer is immersed in plasma containing etching species; chemical etching reaction is taking place at the same rate in any direction, i.e. etching is isotropic; can be very selective; used in those applications in which directionality (anisotropy) of etching in not required, e.g. in resist stripping.
dry etching  etching process carried out in the gas-phase; can be either purely chemical (plasma etching), purely physical (ion milling) or combination of both (Reactive Ion Etching, RIE).
etching, etch  subtractive process in the course of which a solid is either dissolved in liquid chemicals (wet etching) or converted into gaseous compound (dry etching); one among key processes in semiconductor manufacturing.
Reactive Ion Etching, RIE  variation of plasma etching in which during etching semiconductor wafer is placed on the RF powered electrode; wafer takes on potential which accelerates etching species extracted from plasma toward the etched surface; chemical etching reaction is preferentially taking place in the direction normal to the surface, i.e. etching is more anisotropic than in plasma etching but is less selective; leaves etched surface damaged; the most common etching mode in semiconductor manufacturing.
plasma  ionized gas, specifically a self-contained part of the electrical discharge in gases featuring equal concentration of ions and electrons; plasma contains electrically active species, but as a whole is electrically neutral; ions can be extracted from plasma to play variety of important functions in semiconductor processing.
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Information in this glossary is provided at the author's discretion. Any liability based on, or related to the contents of this glossary is disclaimed.