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Inductive plasma reactor

Image Number 14 for United States Patent #5811022.

A plasma reactor and methods for processing semiconductor wafers are described. Gases are introduced into a reactor chamber. An induction coil surrounds the reactor chamber. RF power is applied to the induction coil and is inductively coupled into the reactor chamber causing a plasma to form. A split Faraday shield is interposed between the induction coil and the reactor chamber to substantially block the capacitive coupling of energy into the reactor chamber which may modulate the plasma potential. The configuration of the split Faraday shield may be selected to control the level of modulation of the plasma potential. For etch processes, a separate powered electrode may be used to accelerate ions toward a wafer surface. For isotropic etching processes, charged particles may be filtered from the gas flow, while a neutral activated species passes unimpeded to a wafer surface.

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