Some Promising Applications of Ion Milling in Surface Cleaning

  • S. I. Petvai
  • R. H. Schnitzel


Chemical (wet) etching or reverse sputtering processes have long been used in the semiconductor industry to remove contamination from the surfaces of silicon wafers in thin-film processing. By using ion milling to remove contamination, we offer an advantageous alternative process: removal rates greater than 300 A/min were obtained at temperatures less than 160°C. We used a pure ion beam at 0.75 W cm-2 power density and 6 rpm sample rotations. The ion-beam angle of incidence determined the simultaneous removal rates of various materials, a uniform (nonselective) or nonuniform (selective) removal rate, and the degree of temperature. By selecting an appropriate angle of incidence, we can increase the uniformity of the removal rates, and thus obtain faster removal of the unwanted material or material in the wrong place, with minimum effect on the wanted material in the right place and the electrical parameters of the device.


Removal Rate Material Removal Rate Argon Pressure Schottky Barrier Diode Uniformity Function 
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  1. 1.
    S. I. Petvai, R. H. Schnitzel, and R. Frank, Thin Solid Films, 53, 111 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    R. H. Brunner, Q. J. Carbone, and W. C. Lester, “Vacuum Coating Apparatus” U. S. Patent 3,921,572, November 25, 1975.Google Scholar
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    A. N. Broers and M. Hatzakis, Scientific American, p. 42 (November 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. Petvai
    • 1
  • R. H. Schnitzel
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Data Systems DivisionEast FishkillHopewell JunctionUSA

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