We investigate the reactive ion etching of amorphous silicon by halides using a hierarchy of models on different time and length scales. The feature evolution is modeled using a two- dimensional cell based Monte-Carlo feature scale simulator. The fluxes, the energy distributions, and the angular distributions of the wafer-incident particles are provided by a hybrid plasma sheath simulator. The relevant surface reaction rates are calculated by a molecular dynamics simulator using a Stillinger-Weber representation of the interatomic potential. Our investigations show that the surface reaction rates are strongly determined by the particular surface morpho- logy, which, in turn, is strongly influenced by the kinetic properties of the impinging particles. Thus, we link the molecular dynamics simulator into the model as a whole.
As results, we present calculations for the etching of amorphous silicon by fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. A Stillinger-Weber representation of the bromine and the silicon-bromine potential which was not yet available in literature is additionally developed. We discuss the different morphologies of halogenated silicon surfaces as a consequence of the energy distri- bution and the angular distribution of the impinging particles. Comparisons of the sputter yield functions of bare amorphous silicon surfaces and corresponding halogenated surfaces exhibit considerable differences, qualitative as well as quantitative.