Etching and Cleaning Reactors

product-plasmionique-etchingcleaningreactorsPlasma reactors designed for etching and cleaning are essentially the same as PECVD reactors, except for one important difference: PECVD deposits material whereas etching and cleaning remove material. This has some implications for the detailed reactor design, especially regarding the process gases used, but the basic arrangement of the hardware is the same.

Plasmionique manufactures reactors for the following applications:

Plasma Etching (PE)

This traditionally refers to purely chemical etching where the plasma produces the required reactive species. It is isotropic and selective, with high etch rates. The simplest reactor is a symmetric parallel-plate geometry where a capacitively-coupled plasma (CCP) is produced by a RF-biased electrode, with the sample to be etched fixed to the lower (grounded) electrode. Gas injection is usually in a showerhead arrangement.

Reactive Ion Etching (RIE)

If RF power is applied to the sample electrode in an asymmetric parallel-plate arrangement, a significant negative self-bias is induced. This results in an enhanced ion energy and directionality, and physical etching begins to play a role. It is characterized by high etch rates and good selectivity as for PE, but with the added feature of improved anisotropy.

Ion Beam Etching (IBE)

When physical etching is the predominant process, it is referred to as ion beam etching (IBE). Ions must have a significant directed energy, and are usually produced in a plasma discharge chamber remote from the etching chamber. The ions are extracted and directed toward the substrate with an electrostatic grid. Reactive components may be injected for enhanced functionality. IBE is of course anisotropic, but is non-selective and has a low etch rate.

Plasma Cleaning

The chemical and physical processes which are the basis of plasma etching may also be used to remove contaminants from surfaces. The piece to be cleaned is immersed in a plasma from gases such as oxygen, hydrogen, and argon. The choice depends on the surface material and the contaminant to be removed. As an example, sensitive optical components which have been contaminated by interaction with high-power lasers, synchrotron beams, or electron beams may be effectively cleaned and returned to service.

Plasma and Ion Beam Sources

product-plasmionique-plasmaionbeamsourcesPlasmionique manufactures a number of different types of plasma sources ranging from a simple biased electrode producing a capacitively-coupled plasma (CCP) to dielectric barrier discharges (DBD) and inductively-coupled plasmas (ICP). They have applications to PECVD, etching, and surface modification.

For our ion sources, a directed beam of ions is produced by adding an extraction grid biased to high voltage at the exit of the discharge space. These ion beam sources have applications to ion beam sputtering (IBS), ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) and ion beam etching (IBE).

All our plasma sources are offered as stand-alone units with standard flanges and connections for compatibility with most equipment.

Subsystems and Components

To support or upgrade Plasmionique thin-film deposition and treatment systems, or as additions to your own or third-party equipment, we can provide the high-quality components necessary for your process. In addition, major sub-systems can be provided as stand-alone units for a variety of applications.



Substrate/Sample Mounting and Manipulation

  • Heating stages
  • Biasing capability
  • Rotation & translation
  • Load-lock systems


Gas Management Systems

  • Mass flow controllers for process gases and vapours
  • Purging and leak-checking
  • Coolant distribution
  • Instrument air handling
  • PLC control


System Control

  • Electrical power distribution module
  • System control module, PLC-based, for monitor and control of system and process variables
  • Control system software and graphical user interface


Power Supplies and Generators

  • Heating Power Supplies and Controllers
  • DC Generators
  • RF Generators
  • Microwave Generators and Components
  • Power Switches



  • Residual Gas Analysis (RGA) – during process or for vacuum condition
  • Optical Spectrometry – process evolution and end-point detection
  • Deposition Rate/Thickness Monitoring

Thermal Evaporation Sources

product-plasmionique-thermalevaporationsourcesThe evaporation sources which are installed as part of the EVAD Series Thermal Vapour Deposition Systems have been well-proven in the field, and are available as stand-alone units ready to be installed in your research equipment. They include the following:

Evaporation boats and filaments (high-temperature – up to 1800 °C – for metals)
High-temperature evaporation modules would include (as required):

  • High current vacuum feedthroughs, water-cooled if necessary
  • Convenient mounting of the resistive element(s)
  • Source shutters with manual or pneumatic actuators
  • Evaporation rate monitors (quartz crystal microbalance)
  • Boats and/or filaments chosen to suit material


Knudsen effusion cell (K-cell) for evaporating organics
Plasmionique KEVP Series Knudsen Effusion Cells

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