Modeling of Silicon Etching

Miguel A. Gosálvez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter discusses the manufacturing and processing of MEMS structures. This consists in the sequential realization of material deposition, patterning and etching processes to incrementally modify the substrate and/or a multilayer structure in order to generate three-dimensional shapes with specific electromechanical functionalities. The set of micromachining processes has grown into a mature toolbox offering numerous alternatives depending on the application and material requirements. An overview of the currently available simulators is provided, centering mostly on the modeling of anisotropic etching due to the special challenges posed by this technique, as well as, its overall importance and generalizability. Major features of simulation methods of wet etching including commercial and free tools are discussed. The simulation of the different micromachining processes is possible only if a comprehensive database of different material properties and process parameters is available. Each micromachining process results in the three-dimensional propagation of the material surface and/or interface. There are two types of atomistic simulator, depending on the actual method used for advancing time. A cellular automation is a discrete model of the physical system consisting of an n-dimensional lattice whose nodes, cells, sites, or atoms can be present in one of many states, where "many" can also be infinite. Although the calibration of the geometrical simulators is simpler there are several reasons to favor the use of the atomistic simulations. Various commercial and noncommercial simulators for modeling anisotropic etching, have been listed out.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780323312233
ISBN (Print)9780323299657
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Anisotropic etching
  • Deposition
  • Electromechanical functionalities
  • Micromachining modeling geometrical simulation
  • Micromachining processes
  • Patterning


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling of Silicon Etching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this