On the link between electron shadowing and charging damage

Gyeong S. Hwang, Konstantinos P. Giapis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Charging and topography evolution simulations during plasma etching of high aspect ratio line-and-space patterns reveal that electron shadowing of the sidewalls critically affects charging damage. Decreasing the degree of electron shadowing by using thinner masks decreases the potentials of the etched features with a concomitant reduction in Fowler-Nordheim tunneling currents through underlying thin gate oxides. Simultaneously, the potential distribution in the trench changes, significantly perturbing the local ion dynamics which, in turn, cause the notching effect to worsen. Since the latter can be reduced independently by selecting an appropriate etch chemistry, the use of thinner (hard) masks is predicted to be advantageous for the prevention of gate oxide failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1842
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


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