The influence of surface currents on pattern-dependent charging and notching

Gyeong S. Hwang, Konstantinos P. Giapis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Surface charge dissipation on insulator surfaces can reduce local charging potentials thereby preventing ion trajectory deflection at the bottom of trenches that leads to lateral sidewall etching (notching). We perform detailed Monte Carlo simulations of pattern-dependent charging during etching in high-density plasmas with the maximum sustainable surface electric field as a parameter. Significant notching occurs for a threshold electric field as low as 0.5 MV/cm or 50 V/μm, which is reasonable for the surface of good insulators. The results support pattern-dependent charging as the leading cause of notching and suggest that the problem will disappear as trench widths are reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-689
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 1998


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