Abstract: STT-MRAM (Spin-Transfer-Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory) with high-density is considered as one of the most promising storage candidates with potential applications. In the process of MRAM manufacturing, etching step should be stopped precisely at the specific material layer. The dielectric layer should be protected with certain coverage. Then the subsequent etching steps continue. It is crucial to detect the endpoint of the etching during the fabrication process.
In the paper, the factors influencing the etching rate are analysed, including gas pressure, gas temperature, ion sheath thickness, self-biased DC voltage and RF power frequency, respectively. An approach based on Response Surface Method (RSM) is adopted to predict the endpoint of the etching process. The optimized interplay relationship is set up among the gas pressure, the gas temperature, the ion sheath thickness, the self-biased DC voltage and the RF power frequency, et al.. It shows that RSM approach is an effective statistical method for the optimization on the etching stop technology, especially when the complex etching condition options are involved. The simulation results demonstrate the MRAM sidewall smoothness can be improved under the optimized etching environment configuration.