Plasma asher

(Branson IPC 3000) 

The Branson IPC 3000 is a barrel plasma etcher that uses oxygen to etch organic films and residues such as photoresist in a process commonly referred to as "de-scumming." During a normal run for the Branson Barrel Etcher, the chamber is evacuated to under 0.5 torr pressure. A regulated flow of oxygen gas is introduced into the chamber and RF energy is applied to the chamber coils, which creates an oxygen plasma which does the etching. The oxygen ions in the plasma react with organics, such as photoresist, oxidizing or descumming the compounds off of the surface. The oxidized organics are pumped out of the Branson Barrel Etcher's chamber as exhaust gas.)

Polymer activation can be done in a plasma asher as we do in the case of PDMS. The material is activated by the oxygen in the plasma asher and thus capable of locking the channels that were etched in the material in a previous step.