Semiconductor Glossary, Developed Semi OneSource.
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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.












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Term (Index) Definition
aluminum, conductor, Al  common metal in semiconductor processing; used for contacts and interconnects; very low resistivity (2.7 ohm-cm); melting point 660 oC; easy deposition by evaporation or sputtering; easy etching; shortcomings: electromigration, spiking of silicon, insufficient temperature resistance.
aluminum oxide, alumina, Al2O3  oxide featuring energy gap Eg ~ 5 eV and k ~8; in the form of single-crystal known as sapphire.
copper, Cu  (i) metal of choice for interconnects in advanced ICs; resistivity the lowest among metals - 1.7 µohm-cm; advantages over aluminum: no electromigration and lower resistivity; (ii) defect causing contaminant if allowed to penetrate silicon; very fast diffusant in silicon; results in reduced lifetime of minority carriers.
electromigration  an effect plaguing some metals in particular aluminum; physical motion of atoms out of the areas where current density is very high; caused primarily by frictional force between metal ions and flowing electrons; results in the break in the metal line; common cause of malfunction of aluminum interconnect network in integrated circuits; main reason for which Al interconnects are being replaced with copper interconnects in advance IC technology.
evaporation  common technique used to deposit thin film materials; material to be deposited is heated in vacuum, 10-6 Torr - 10-7 Torr range, until it melts and starts evaporating; vapor of material is condensing on the cooler substrate exposed to the vapor; common technique in thin film metal deposition; not suitable for high melting point materials; one of the PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) methods of thin film formation.
interconnect  conductor (typically metal) line connecting elements of an integrated circuit; in very high density integrated circuits interconnect lines form multilevel network; in advanced silicon ICs interconnect lines as are made out of copper.
spiking  uncontrolled penetration of semiconductor substrate by contact metal; problem with Al in contact with silicon; may short ultra-shallow p-n junction underneath the contact.
sputtering, sputter deposition  bombardment of solid (target) by high energy chemically inert ions (e.g. Ar+)extracted from plasma; causes ejection of atoms from the target which are then re-deposited on the surface of the substrate purposely located in the vicinity of the target; common method of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) of metals and oxides.
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