Pre-cleaning process on substrates before sputtering
Ion Etching (IE) is a physical process. In this dry etching method, the impulse of the incident energetic inert gas ions alone causes removal of the substrate. That is why this process is also called sputter etching. FHR Anlagenbau GmbH uses this in a large number of its systems; it is also used to gently pre-clean substrates prior to sputtering.
The substance is removed preferentially in the direction of the impinging ions. Ion etching is also especially suitable for materials that do not form volatile reaction products with commonly used etching gases. The disadvantage here is the low etch rate. In addition, the corrosive effect of the material is virtually independent, and thus not very selective.