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  1. In this study, we demonstrate a tolerant and durable Cr/Ni bilayer metal etch mask that allows us to realize approximately 150:1 etch selectivity to diamond. This result is achieved through the use of a very thin initial Cr layer of <10 nm thickness as part of the bilayer metal mask, which results in five to ten times improved selectivity than thick single metal layer masks or bilayer masks with thicker combinations. A finite element analysis was employed to design and understand the physics and working mechanism of the bilayer metal masks with different thicknesses. Raman spectroscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy on the diamond surface were also performed to investigate the changes in diamond quality before and after the deep diamond etching and found that no noticeable etch damage or defects were formed. Overall, this mask strategy offers a viable way to realize deep diamond etching using a high heat and chemistry tolerant and durable bilayer metal etching mask. It also offers several technological benefits and advantages, including various deposition method options, such as sputtering and physical vapor deposition, that can be used and the total thinness of the bilayer metal mask required given the higher selectivity allows us to realize fine diamond etching or high-aspect ratio etching, which is a critical fabrication process for future power, RF, MEMS, and quantum device applications.

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