Metasurface Fabrication by Cryogenic and Bosch Deep Reactive Ion Etching

Micromachines (Basel). 2021 Apr 29;12(5):501. doi: 10.3390/mi12050501.


The research field of metasurfaces has attracted considerable attention in recent years due to its high potential to achieve flat, ultrathin optical devices of high performance. Metasurfaces, consisting of artificial patterns of subwavelength dimensions, often require fabrication techniques with high aspect ratios (HARs). Bosch and Cryogenic methods are the best etching candidates of industrial relevance towards the fabrication of these nanostructures. In this paper, we present the fabrication of Silicon (Si) metalenses by the UV-Nanoimprint Lithography method and cryogenic Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) process and compare the results with the same structures manufactured by Bosch DRIE both in terms of technological achievements and lens efficiencies. The Cryo- and Bosch-etched lenses attain efficiencies of around 39% at wavelength λ = 1.50 µm and λ = 1.45 µm against a theoretical level of around 61% (for Si pillars on a Si substrate), respectively, and process modifications are suggested towards raising the efficiencies further. Our results indicate that some sidewall surface roughness of the Bosch DRIE is acceptable in metalense fabrication, as even significant sidewall surface roughness in a non-optimized Bosch process yields reasonable efficiency levels.

Keywords: bosch process; cryogenic etching; deep reactive ion etching; metasurface fabrication.