Project Details


The new Core Facility MICROLAB is installing unique plasma equipment for deep reactive ion etching
of SiO2, but also other materials such as SiNx, SiC, GaN, PZT and Al2O3. SiO2-based substrates
(Borofloat, quartz, …) are essential for a wide range of optical, chemical, sensory, diagnostic and
many other applications due to their generally chemically inert nature, optical transparency, dielectric
properties, electrophilic nature and suitability to apply a wide range of coatings on. However, to etch
SiO2, metal masks - instead of conventional photoresist masks - are required to create sufficient
selectivity over SiO2. Moreover these masks must be structured with very accurate 3D profiles to
enable SiO2 structures with high aspect ratio and low taper.
The plasma etcher for metals for which funding is sought in the current proposal will be a latest
state-of-the-art instrument and MICROLAB will be unique in Flanders and one of a few worldwide to
use it for etching of glass. With this machine not only new etch processes will be developed, it will
also allow to move beyond the state-of-the-art in other research fields. The machine will for instance
be a unique asset to 3D texture metal surfaces for highly innovative metamaterials for optical
applications. The plasma etcher for metals will be embedded in MICROLAB, a new microfabrication
facility at VUB with open access to academia and industry
Effective start/end date1/05/2430/04/28


  • Plasma Etching Metals
  • Microfluidics
  • Metamaterials

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Materials processing
  • Separation technologies
  • Analytical separation and detection techniques
  • Cell, tissue and organ engineering
  • Microfluidics/flow chemistry


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