This book has been written as part of a series of scientific books being published by Plenum Press. The scope of the series is to review a chosen topic in each volume. To supplement this information, the abstracts to the most important references cited in the text are reprinted, thus allowing the reader to find in-depth material without having to refer to many additional publications. This volume is dedicated to the field of dry (plasma) etching, as applied in silicon semiconductor processing. Although a number of books have appeared dealing with this area of physics and chemistry, these all deal with parts of the field. This book is unique in that it gives a compact, yet complete, in-depth overview of fundamentals, systems, processes, tools, and applications of etching with gas plasmas for VLSI. Examples are given throughout the fundamental sections, in order to give the reader a better insight in the meaning and magnitude of the many parameters relevant to dry etching. Electrical engineering concepts are emphasized to explain the pros and cons of reactor concepts and excitation frequency ranges. In the description of practical applications, extensive use is made of cross-referencing between processes and materials, as well as theory and practice. It is thus intended to provide a total model for understanding dry etching. The book has been written such that no previous knowledge of the subject is required. It is intended as a review of all aspects of dry etching for silicon semiconductor processing.