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Sunday, December 20, 2020

#455 Thirty years ago: December 1990

First thing I took note of while reviewing December 1990 issue of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society was a paper entitled “An Overview of Dry Etching Damage and Contamination” authored by my Penn State colleague Stephen J. Fonash. Steve was a recognized expert in the field of post-RIE damage and his paper contains information which is relevant even thirty years later.


Moving to the different territory, fact that December 1990 issue of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices was a Special Issue on the Optical and Electron-Beam Control of Semiconductor Switches indicate that already 30 years ago the need for integration of photonic and electronic functions, in this case using light to control electronic switches, was recognized.


December 1990 issue of Semiconductor International in turn raises the issue of the need for the MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) tools moving from the research labs to the production facilities. As we know, it did happen big time over the years. Other than that, selective deposition of 0.1 µm wide copper lines was a big deal in the pre-damascene era.


With anticipated need for the SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) substrates, December ’90 issue of Solid-State Technology was featuring SIMOX  (Separation by  IMplanted OXygen or Separation by IMplantation of OXygen depending on the source) technology as a solution to the possible mass production of SOI wafers. It was before wafer bonding in general and “smart cut”TM technique in particular started to gain momentum in SOI wafers technology.


Finally, I cannot help but to toot my own horn by pointing to my December 1990 contribution in the form of the paper published in the Technical Digest of 1990 IEDM entitled “Dry Cleaning Procedures for Silicon IC Fabrication” and co-authored by my Ph.D. advisee (at that time) Dave Frystak, and my Texas Instruments (sponsor of this research) colleague Allen Bowling. Honestly, thirty years ago we were convinced that gas-phase cleaning of silicon wafers was a solution to all silicon cleaning challenges. Well, as future did demonstrate, may be not all challenges, but certainly in some applications, especially in integrated processing dry cleaning method came very handy.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 08:05 PM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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