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LEP500 EtchDirector Software Suite

The LEP500 Base Systems are all supplied with Intellemetrics' powerful EtchDirector software suite preinstalled and ready for your use. The following gives a brief outline of its capabilities. The full EtchDirector screen will look something like this.... There are five user selectable windows allowing display of the parameters you want to see. These include;

Live graphing in "chart" and "moving chart" formats.

Material Library

Wafer Structure

Modelled Data

End Point Parameters

Data Logging

Live Camera Image (option)


Also there is a Control Panel to allow you to manually control the system via push buttons and instantly see the operating state of the system.

The first thing you want to know is 'What will the signal as a function of etch depth look like for my wafer?". Therefore EtchDirector includes a full modelling capability.

EtchDirector includes a set of extensive libraries of materials with n and k values.

Each library operates at a different wavelength, depending upon the monitoring wavelength of the system you are using. For example, the standard 670nm library comes with over 250 materials preinstalled.

Each library is editable so you can change values and add or delete as many materials materials as required.

User friendly interface to enter the wafer details such as material and thickness.

Double click on a library entry to enter the n and k values.

Rapidly enter multiple quantum well structures and colour code them for easy viewing.

Cut and paste functions to speed entry.

Select Thickness Units from Angstroms to nm to microns.

Save Structure File for later use.

Model Window

From the Structure Window simply press the Create Model button.

Shows the Reflectance versus Etch Depth.

Shows turning points.

Select axis units (Angstroms, nm or microns)

Full range of zooming capabilities.

Save data to a range of formats (Intellemetrics' own .mod format, CSV, bitmap or copy to clipboard)

The model shows you the signal variations you should expect to see during the etch process.

End Point Detection

The EtchDirector software enables you to create a wide range of endpoint conditions to track the etch depth and etch rate, and to automatically stop at the desired end point. The end point algorithms can be tailored to satisfy a wide range of processes. The various modes available include.....

This is the simplest mode and is ideal for etching of bulk layers, or single layers on a substrate. The user simply enters the refractive index of the layer being etched and the desired end etch depth. The system monitors the etch, tracks the etch depth and etch rate and stops the system at the end point.

Filtering, Hold Off, and Overetch conditions can all be entered.

In Model Mode the user loads a previously modelled structure file and enters the desired etch depth. The system then tracks the live signal and uses advanced algorithms to determine the instantaneous etch depth. The system will create an end point condition when it reaches the desired etch depth.

Filtering, Hold Off, and Overetch conditions can all be entered.

Kink Mode is a powerful algorithm that can either detect the 'flat' line' at the end of an etch process (such as etching resist on quartz) or it can be used to detect the interface between different absorbing materials such as various metal layers.

One of its biggest advantages is that you don;t
need to know the starting thickness of the material you are etching....its will detect the interface anyway.

Live Monitoring

During the etch process EtchDirector shows whatever views you want to see. These can include a live chart of the varying reflectance as a function of time, the theoretical reflectance as a function of etch depth, the live camera image, etc. During the run the system can be configured for manual operation (ideal for R&D labs where an operator is present to stop the etch process at the desired point) or in an automatic way if the system is connected to the control system via the digital IO option.

The Control Panel

The Control Panel is a fixed element within the EtchDirector environment. It shows you the present state of the system, allows full manual operation, shows the state of automatic operation and shows other important parameters.

The Signal Level shows a live reflectance level meter and is especially useful during alignment.

Manual buttons enable full manual control, such as START, GO, HOLD, CONTINUE and FORCE CUT.

Status LEDS show the state of the digital IO signals being sent and recieved.

The present etch time, the etch rate and the etch depth are shown in the units of your choice.

Data Logging

Automatic data logging of each run. Saves the RAW data, filter setting and end point parameters.

User specifies Folders and filename formats.

Includes run number, sequence number and date/time stamping.

Automatic data logging of all Control Panel status changes.

Interface Options for Automatic Control

The LEP500 Base System with the Digi IO option can be integrated into the control system of an etch machine to enable full automatic control of the etch process.

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