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Sunday, January 24, 2016

#335 Thin films

Thin-films play key role in semiconductor technology not only as the semiconductor thin-films (consider Thin-Film Transistors and thin-film solar cells for instance), but also as thin-film insulators and thin-film conductors that are needed to build semiconductor devices. In essence the entire semiconductor device  engineering is based on thin-films.  Yet, the term thin-film seems to escape a formal definition.


To me the term thin-film refers to the material in the form of the film which is thin enough to display physical properties (e.g. resistivity) distinctly different from the physical properties of the same material in the bulk form or in the form of the thick-film (see the blog to follow). The difference results from the increasing two-dimensional confinement of charge carriers as the film gets thinner. Because materials used to build semiconductor devices display highly diverse physical properties, it is not possible to come up with a single thickness below which material acts as a thin-film. In general, however, in semiconductor terminology the term thin applies to the films thinner than about 0.5 µm (500 nm).

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 02:56 PM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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

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