Optical interferometric techniques are pointed out as powerful tools for the monitoring of etching processes. Three different examples are described in detains to illustrate the potentiality of these techniques: the development of positive photoresist films, the electrochemical and photoelectrochemical etching of InP and the plasma etching of Si substrates. These techniques are divided into two types: reflectivity and diffraction measurement. The advantages and limitations of each technique are discussed.
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