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With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.


Including some 500 new terms defined and remaining terms updated and modified, a 2nd edition book version of this glossary is now available.

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Term (Index) Definition
nanotechnology, conventional  conventional nanotechnology is concerned with an improvement of the logic and memory (digital) performance of silicon integrated circuits (chips) comprising of over billion transistors operating in the configuration of basic CMOS cells; represents “top-down” approach to device processing; improved performance is based primarily on the evolution of device geometry toward nano-scale features (e.g. gate length approaching 10 nm); based on established concepts regarding implementation of switching (“on” and “off” states of a CMOS cell); recent and expected future innovations (e.g. use of SOI substrates, SiGe layers, strained channels, high-k gate dielectrics, GaAs on Si, etc.) improve/will improve performance of conventional silicon nano-circuits without having to cope (yet!) with physical barriers (which unfortunately will inevitably emerged at certain point of geometry scaling); however, it appears that it is going to be a while before conventional nanotechnology will run out of solutions/innovations and “new generation nanotechnology” will have to take over the task of continuing improvement in the performance of digital systems.
top-down processing  traditional way of building semiconductor structures using sequences of deposition-pattern definition-etching-doping steps; as opposed to bottom-up processing.
nanotechnology, new generation  scientific and technical solutions which will allow progress in atomic-level manipulation of materials geared primarily toward continued improvement in the performance of digital (computational) systems; will be needed once all means and ways of “conventional nanotechnology” will be fully exploited; represents “bottom-up” approach to device processing; explores any system existing in nature that is potentially capable of a binary state which can then be converted into electronic “on” and “off” state; e.g. spin of an electron, properties of selected molecules and molecular systems, etc.; also explores nano-scale material configurations which can be potentially used to reproduce transistor switching action; e.g. carbon and silicon nanotubes and nanowires, quantum dots, etc.; from the point of view of computational functions “new generation nanotechnology” does not offer winning solutions yet, but evolution of this very broad scientific and technical domain will certainly bring about spectacular progress in many other aspects of human endeavor.
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Jerzy Ruzyllo is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

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Created and operated by J. Ruzyllo. Copyright © J. Ruzyllo 2001-2016. All rights reserved.

Information in this glossary is provided at the author's discretion. Any liability based on, or related to the contents of this glossary is disclaimed.