Evolutionary continuous cellular automaton for the simulation of wet etching of quartz

Autores UPV


Anisotropic wet chemical etching of quartz is a bulk micromachining process for the fabrication of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), such as resonators and temperature sensors. Despite the success of the continuous cellular automaton for the simulation of wet etching of silicon, the simulation of the same process for quartz has received little attention-especially from an atomistic perspective-resulting in a lack of accurate modeling tools. This paper analyzes the crystallographic structure of the main surface orientations of quartz and proposes a novel classification of the surface atoms as well as an evolutionary algorithm to determine suitable values for the corresponding atomistic removal rates. Not only does the presented evolutionary continuous cellular automaton reproduce the correct macroscopic etch rate distribution for quartz hemispheres, but it is also capable of performing fast and accurate 3D simulations of MEMS structures. This is shown by several comparisons between simulated and experimental results and, in particular, by a detailed, quantitative comparison for an extensive collection of trench profiles. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.