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As the process complexity has been increased to overcome challenges in plasma etching, individual control of internal plasma parameters for process optimization has attracted attention. This study investigated the individual contribution of internal parameters, the ion energy and flux, on high-aspect ratio SiO2 etching characteristics for various trench widths in a dual-frequency capacitively coupled plasma system with Ar/C4F8 gases. We established an individual control window of ion flux and energy by adjusting dual-frequency power sources and measuring the electron density and self-bias voltage. We separately varied the ion flux and energy with the same ratio from the reference condition and found that the increase in ion energy shows higher etching rate enhancement than that in the ion flux with the same increase ratio in a 200 nm pattern width. Based on a volume-averaged plasma model analysis, the weak contribution of the ion flux results from the increase in heavy radicals, which is inevitably accompanied with the increase in the ion flux and forms a fluorocarbon film, preventing etching. At the 60 nm pattern width, the etching stops at the reference condition and it remains despite increasing ion energy, which implies the surface charging-induced etching stops. The etching, however, slightly increased with the increasing ion flux from the reference condition, revealing the surface charge removal accompanied with conducting fluorocarbon film formation by heavy radicals. In addition, the entrance width of an amorphous carbon layer (ACL) mask enlarges with increasing ion energy, whereas it relatively remains constant with that of ion energy. These findings can be utilized to optimize the SiO2 etching process in high-aspect ratio etching applications.

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