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FHR Sputtering Process in Detail

Reactive ion etching

Reactive Ion Etching

Precision and control

Reactive ion etching (or “RIE” for short) denotes a dry etching process that has become firmly established in modern material processing. With the ability to perform both isotropic and anisotropic etching, it offers a high level of flexibility in the structuring of surfaces. In the semiconductor industry, in particular, RIE has established itself as the preferred method for defining micro- and nano-structured components thanks to its precision and adaptability. Find out more about this reliable and precise technique in thin film technology.

We, at FHR, are your specialists when it comes to sputtering, sputtering targets, and vacuum coating. 

How It All Works

What is behind reactive ion etching?

Reactive ion etching (RIE) is a dry etching process that combines physical and chemical processes. Ions hit the surface of the material, which then activates it. This enables a chemical reaction with the etching gas. Our FHR team has plenty of experience with this structuring method.

In the RIE process, the etching gas forms a gas together with the surface material, which is then extracted. One advantage of this process is its effective controllability. Etching can be carried out isotropically in all directions, or anisotropically in a specific direction.

With the help of special masks, reactive ion etching is ideal for producing fine structures for micro- and nano-technology. It is mainly used in the semiconductor industry for micro-structuring.

FHR offers suitable equipment for the treatment of large-area substrates (FHR.Line product range) and as a component of cluster tools for the processing of wafers (FHR.Star product range).

Reactive ion etching offers several key advantages:

  1. Anisotropic etching: RIE enables etching with steep sidewalls, which is particularly important for many microelectronic applications.
  2. Precision and control: With RIE, both the etching rate and depth can be precisely controlled, thereby resulting in precise and reproducible structures.
  3. Versatility: By using different gases and process parameters, RIE can be used to etch a wide range of materials – from semiconductors to metals and dielectrics.
  4. Minimal under-etching: When compared to some other etching processes, lateral under-etching, known as “side etching”, can be minimized with RIE under a mask.
  5. Dry etching process: In contrast to wet chemical etching, no liquids are used, thereby reducing the risk of contamination and unwanted chemical reactions.
  6. High resolution: RIE enables the etching of the finest structures on a nano-scale level, which makes it particularly valuable for advanced semiconductor applications and nano-technology.

These properties make reactive ion etching an essential tool in modern technology.

Vacuum coating systems

Discover how our vacuum coating systems form the basis for high-performance coatings in numerous industries, and how our technologies can be used for your projects.


Other technologies and coating processes

We Are Your Specialist

FHR – The Right Partner at Your Side

Shaping the future together – with reliable and high-quality coating solutions from FHR:

  1. Industry-leading quality: Our vacuum coating systems are designed for maximum precision and durability.
  2. Customized solutions: We offer individual solutions for your coating project that meet your specific requirements.
  3. Innovative methods and technologies: With our many years of experience and expertise in vacuum coating, we continue to set new standards.
  4. Dedicated customer service: Our experienced team is always available to answer your questions and provide you with support in your projects.

Discover the diverse range of possibilities with our vacuum coating technology, and place your trust in FHR as your reliable partner for outstanding coating solutions. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out more and realize your projects together.  

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Do you have any questions?

Would you like to discover more about thin film technology or receive general advice on our vacuum coating systems and our coating service? Then feel free to get in touch with us – our team of experts will be happy to answer all your questions.