Plasma Etching of Chalcogenides
A process for etching a thin glass film comprising at least one chalcogen, the process comprising the step of etching the thin glass film with a plasma comprising substantial amounts of free hydrogen sufficient to effect etching. In particular arrangements, the plasma is derived from a hydrogen rich mixture. Prior to etching the thin glass film, the process may further comprise the steps of: forming the thin glass film on a substrate; forming a mask layer on the thin glass film; mounting the substrate on a substrate plate in a reaction chamber of a plasma system, wherein the mounting provides thermal contact between the thin glass film and the substrate plate; heating or cooling the thin glass film to a desired etching temperature; evacuating the reaction chamber to a desired etching pressure; injecting one or more gaseous substances into the reaction chamber and striking a plasma in the plasma system, whereby the injected gases are disassociated by the plasma, such that substantial amounts of free hydrogen sufficient to effect etching of the thin glass film are formed in the reaction chamber. The thin film may be a chalcogenide glass film, or alternatively, the thin glass film may a tellurite glass film.
MADDEN STEPHEN JOHN [AU]; VU KHU TRI [AU]
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