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The hardmask NiCr, has shown to be the optimum alloy in reducing sidewall roughness (SWR) in planar waveguide geometries. Within this study, the NiCr hardmask has been demonstrated using a lift-off of NiCr. In comparison, a NiCr etchant from TranseneT~t is used to compare how well sidewall roughness is reduced, and how the RIE - CHF3/O2 gas mixture improved anisotropy. From the results obtained, NiCr is a robust material that reduces sidewall roughness, and is the best metal to use, with the least amount of transferred striations. The CHF3/CF4 gas mixture in the AME -P5000 RIE tool proved to have better anisotropy and selectivity with respect to TEOS/Si3N4/Thermal Oxide {5000 A layer} respectively.

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