RF Plasma etcher/asher/cleaner
A solid-state RF plasma barrel reactor designed to meet the requirements of research and development and small-scale production for a wide and varied range of plasma etching, plasma ashing and plasma cleaning applications.

Key features

  • For RF plasma etching, ashing and cleaning processes
  • Drawer type specimen stage – gives easy convenient specimen access
  • Micro-controller: fully programmable by the operator – easy, flexible operation
  • Fully-automatic operation
  • Modern solid state 100 W 13.56 MHz RF power supply – rugged and reliable
  • Two gas flow meters – allows precise control and mixing of process gases, especially useful for plasma etching processes
  • Vent control – minimal specimen disturbance – especially useful for fine plasma-ashed specimens
  • Turbomolecular pumped version available (K1050XT)
  • Extended warranty option

RF plasma etching and ashing

RF plasma allows the low-temperature modification of a wide range of specimens and substrates. Plasma etching is generally confined to the semiconductor industry, were the Quorum K1050X can be used to remove silicon layers using reactive gases, such as CF4 and for the removal of photoresist using oxygen.

Plasma ashing refers to the controlled, low-temperature removal of organic material using oxygen or air and has applications across many areas of research and quality control. RF plasma can also be used for the surface modification of plastics and polymers – and for cleaning TEM and SEM specimens and specimen holders.

Product Description

Built to withstand heavy use – 24 hours a day for some plasma ashing schedules – the K1050X RF Plasma Barrel Reactor features microprocessor control with automatic operation and offers durability and simplicity of operation. Barrel systems plasma etch or plasma ash isotropically (in all directions) and are suitable for a wide range of applications.

The K1050X uses a low pressure RF-induced gaseous discharge to modify specimen surfaces or remove specimen material in a gentle, controlled way. A significant advantage over alternative methods is that the plasma etching and ashing processes are dry (no wet chemicals are needed) and take place at relatively low temperatures.

A wide range of surface modification methods are available, using a variety of process gases. Using oxygen (or air) as the process gas, the molecules disassociate into chemically active atoms and molecules and the resulting ‘combustion’ products are conveniently carried away in the gas stream by the vacuum system.

Chamber, specimen handling and gas control

The K1050X has a 110 mm diameter x 160 mm borosilicate glass chamber horizontally mounted with a slide-out specimen drawer and viewing window. Evacuation of the chamber is achieved by an optional 50 L/m mechanical rotary vacuum pump. Ingress of reactive gases is controlled by two built-in flow-meters backed by solenoid valves. Note: For plasma etching applications where borosilicate glass needs to be avoided, the K1050X can be fitted with an optional quartz chamber.

Power, tuning and vacuum monitoring

RF power of up to 100 W at 13.56 MHz is available and can be infinitely controlled and pre-set to required values. Automatic tuning of forward and reflected power is standard and shown on the digital display.

Automated microprocessor control

The K1050X is fully automatic. Control parameters for time, power and vacuum are easy to preset and can be monitored and adjusted throughout the process run.

‘Autotuning’ of RF power for optimum control and reproducibility

During the plasma process the ‘autotune’ facility ensures that the RF power is automatically impedance-matched to any variation in the system or loading. This means that RFplasma conditions in the chamber are maintained at their optimum – important as it gives faster reaction times, greater reproducibility of results and protects the power supply during the RF cycle.


SOFIA PETTERSSON Product specialist Microscopy 010-155 03 17