Thermal atomic layer etching (ALE) is a thin film removal technique based on sequential, self-limiting surface reactions. ALE is the reverse of atomic layer deposition (ALD). This talk will discuss new thermal ALE procedures that have been developed recently for the thermal ALE of metal oxides, metal nitrides and elemental metals. Thermal ALE provides for atomic layer controlled and isotropic etching. Al2O3 ALE will be demonstrated using sequential fluorination and ligand-exchange reactions using HF and Al(CH3)3 as the reactants. TiN ALE will be presented using sequential reactions based on oxidation and fluorination to a volatile fluoride using O3 and HF as the reactants. W ALE will be illustrated using sequential oxidation, conversion to a different metal oxide and fluorination to a volatile fluoride. W ALE employs O3, BCl3 and HF as the reactants. Thermal ALE will be useful for the atomic layer processing required for advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
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