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George Kokkoris, Nikolaos Vourdas, Evangelos Gogolides

Plasma Etching and Roughening of Thin Polymeric Films: A Fast, Accurate, in situ Method of Surface Roughness Measurement

Plasma Processes and Polymers 5 (2008) 825–833

A method is proposed to measure the root mean square surface roughness (hrms) of thin polymeric films on hard substrates during plasma etching. It utilizes in situ monitoring of the film thickness versus etching time by spectroscopic ellipsometry to extract the height distribution and hrms, at the corner point (CP). The CP is the time instant where etching rate starts to gradually drop; it depends on the initial film thickness, and denotes the gradual exposure of the hard substrate to the plasma due to the advancement of the rough etch front. The hrms is found equal to approximately half of the remaining thickness at CP. The method compares well with atomic force microscopy measurements.

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Cited Articles

  1. Franta D., Ohlídal I.,
    Comparison of effective medium approximation and Rayleigh–Rice theory concerning ellipsometric characterization of rough surfaces,
    Optics Communications 248 (2005) 459–467