Deposition of ultra-thin materials that are uniform and conformal is challenging. Self-limiting atomic layer etching (ALE) is a process technology that can controllably etch metals and oxide dielectrics to overcome this difficulty. We use DFT simulations to predict process conditions for ALE and explore etch chemistries at the atomic scale.
Technological challenges for ALE:
Our simulations predict process chemistries for dielectric ALE using HF and find less toxic alternatives. We propose and test new chemistries for metal ALE which can be tested by collaborators.