Method for Keyhole-Free High-Aspect-Ratio Trench Refill by LPCVD

Henk-Willem Veltkamp*, Yves L. Janssens, Meint J. de Boer, Yiyuan Zhao, Remco J. Wiegerink, Niels R. Tas, Joost C. Lötters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In micro-machined micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), refilled high-aspect-ratio trench structures are used for different applications. However, these trenches often show keyholes, which have an impact on the performance of the devices. In this paper, explanations are given on keyhole formation, and a method is presented for etching positively-tapered high-aspect ratio trenches with an optimised trench entrance to prevent keyhole formation. The trench etch is performed by a two-step Bosch-based process, in which the cycle time, platen power, and process pressure during the etch step of the Bosch cycle are studied to adjust the dimensions of the scallops and their location in the trench sidewall, which control the taper of the trench sidewall. It is demonstrated that the amount of chemical flux, being adjusted by the cycle time of the etch step in the Bosch cycle, relates the scallop height to the sidewall profile angle. The required positive tapering of 88° to 89° for a keyhole-free structure after a trench refill by low-pressure chemical vapour deposition is achieved by lowering the time of the etch step.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1908
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2022


  • High-aspect-ratio trenches
  • Keyhole-free refilling by LPCVD
  • Trench isolation/insulation

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