Reacting-Ion Etching and Plasma Etching Automated System – Caroline PE15 from ESTO-Vacuum

Caroline PE15 system from ESTO is specifically for plasma etching and reactive ion etching of thin films deposited on flat substrates with a thickness of less than30mm and diameter of up to 200mm. Substrates processing is carried out individually since the system is fully automatic.

The PE15 system features a unique bench with the HF-bias applied for extracting and accelerating of plasma ions. It also includes a patented high density plasma generator with high frequency generator for plasma excitation.

For improved substrate cooling, the PE15 system can be fitted with a helium cooler that generates helium flow between the bench surface and the substrate to sustain the temperature gradient between the electrode and substrate.

Key Features

The main features of the Caroline PE15 system are:

  • Automatic matching unit
  • Chemically resistant turbomolecular pump
  • Multi-channel gas feed path
  • Bench heating up to 300°C
  • Barotron (for vacuum monitoring in the working point)
  • Optional laser thickness gauge for the etching layer monitoring
  • Gas consumption control in each channel and four-channel gas flow rate stabilization
  • Etching process automation from loading to unloading of substrates


The applications of the Caroline PE15 system are:

  • Monocrystalline silicon etching for a wide range of processes
  • Submicron high-speed dielectrics
  • Gallium nitride and gallium arsenide etching in semiconductor laser manufacturing
  • Annealing or etching process in atomic hydrogen and hydrogen plasma
  • High-speed polyimide etching
  • Photoresistive layer removal
  • Metal films etching via metal and resistive mask, including copper, gold, etc. that do not create volatile compounds
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