Study of roughness evolution during reactive ion etching
Santosh Kumar Pani
Date of Issue2006
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Polymers are promising candidates for cost-sensitive integrated optical components such as waveguides and waveguide based devices for communication applications and optical interconnects for chip to chip, board to board and back plane applications because of their versatility. Reactive ion etching (RIE) is a commonly used patterning technique for the fabrication of polymeric waveguides and waveguide based devices. One important consequence of RIE in the fabrication process is the evolution of roughness at different interfaces. Current research focuses the fabrication of polymeric optical waveguides by photolithography and RIE with the emphasis on issues which are bottlenecks for the waveguiding/interconnects technologies. In particular, this research work concentrates on studies of various types of roughness evolved during RIE of polymeric waveguides. Important contributions to the field of waveguiding/interconnect technologies include measurement of various types of roughness evolved during RIE, new discovery of etch depth dependences and the explanation of this phenomenon based on Monte Carlo simulation of etch-ion dynamics, formulation of the hypotheses and the etching mechanism, and controlling these roughnesses by developing novel recipes.