Pattern transfer by dry etching and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor de- position are two of the cornerstone techniques for modern integrated cir- cuit fabrication. The success of these methods has also sparked interest in their application to other techniques, such as surface-micromachined sen- sors, read/write heads for data storage and magnetic random access memory (MRAM). The extremely complex chemistry and physics of plasmas and their interactions with the exposed surfaces of semiconductors and other materi- als is often overlooked at the manufacturing stage. In this case, the process is optimized by an informed "trial-and-error" approach which relies heavily on design-of-experiment techniques and the intuition of the process engineer. The need for regular cleaning of plasma reactors to remove built-up reaction or precursor gas products adds an extra degree of complexity because the interaction of the reactive species in the plasma with the reactor walls can also have a strong effect on the number of these species available for etching or deposition. Since the microelectronics industry depends on having high process yields at each step of the fabrication process, it is imperative that a full understanding of plasma etching and deposition techniques be achieved.