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Sunday, June 20, 2021

#472 Thirty years ago: June 1991


At the device side, based on the contents of June 91’ issue of the IEEE Electron Device Letters, it was very much about speedy alternatives to conventional MOSFETs. At that time CMOS was already established low-power switching solution in the mainstream digital IC technology, but its speed of operation limitations were prompting efforts geared toward other, potentially faster transistor configurations. Representing these “search for speed” efforts were reports on HBTs (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor), HEMTs (High Electron Mobility Transistor), and MESFETs (Metal Semiconductor FET), all constructed based on III-V compounds.  


At the process/materials end of semiconductor engineering spectrum, papers published in June 91’ issue of the Journal of Electrochemical Society did not show any clearly identifiable trends. Everything was on the table, thermal oxidation and rapid thermal annealing, diffusion and epitaxial growth. May be two papers dealing with elaborate ellipsometric methods allowing measurements of thickness of ultrathin (<10 nm) oxides could be seen as being focused on a single well defined challenge. Gate oxide in MOSFETs was getting thinner and thinner and improved methods of spectroscopic ellipsometry allowing precise measurements of oxide thickness were needed.


Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 09:18 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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