Semiconductor Glossary, Developed Semi OneSource.
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Term (Index) Definition
electron  negatively charged particle in an atom; carrier of smallest (elemental) electric charge of 1.60X10-19 C; carrier of negative charge in semiconductors.
hole  positive charge carrier in semiconductors which materially does not exist; lack of electron moving in the direction opposite to that of electron and carrying positive charge; features higher effective mass than electron, hence, lower mobility.
electron effective mass,  a parameter specific to a given semiconductor material; determines the effect of an external force on the motion of electron in the conduction band of the crystal.
Term (Index) Definition
Auger electron  electron ejected from the solid as a result of two-stage ionization of atoms bombarded with high energy ions (Auger process); Auger electron carries energy specific to the atom from which it was ejected.
Auger Electron Spectroscopy, AES  surface characterization and depth profiling method based on the determination of the energy of Auger electrons ejected from the solid surface bombarded with high energy ions; only elements with atomic number > 2 can be detected.
Term (Index) Definition
Auger Electron Spectroscopy, AES  surface characterization and depth profiling method based on the determination of the energy of Auger electrons ejected from the solid surface bombarded with high energy ions; only elements with atomic number > 2 can be detected.
depth profiling  materials characterization method allowing determination of distribution of elements in the solid in the direction normal to its surface; common in conjunction with SIMS, Auger electron spectroscopy and other methods of surface analysis; profiling is accomplished by simultaneous gradual removal of material using ion milling and analysis of its chemical composition; d.p. is broadly used in semiconductor R&D.
Auger Electron Spectroscopy, AES  surface characterization and depth profiling method based on the determination of the energy of Auger electrons ejected from the solid surface bombarded with high energy ions; only elements with atomic number > 2 can be detected.
surface analysis  process aimed at the determination of chemical composition and/or structure of solid surfaces.
Term (Index) Definition
electron affinity  the energy between the vacuum level and the bottom of the conduction band.
Term (Index) Definition
electron beam (e-beam) evaporation  material is evaporated as a result of highly localized heating by bombardment with high energy electrons generated in an electron gun and directed toward the surface of source material confined in the crucible; evaporated material is very pure; bombardment of metal with electrons is accompanied by generation of low intensity X-rays which may create defects in the oxide present on the surface of the substrate; typically, an anneal is needed to eliminate those defects.
Physical Vapor Deposition, PVD  deposition of thin film occurs through physical transfer of material (e.g. thermal evaporation and sputtering)from the source to the substrate; chemical composition of deposited material is not altered in the process.
Term (Index) Definition
electron beam (e-beam) heating  highly localized heating of material by bombardment with high energy electrons.
Term (Index) Definition
electron beam (e-beam) lithography, EBL  lithography technique which uses focused beam of electrons to expose the resist; no mask is used as pattern is "written" directly into the resist by very fast scanning of electron beam; pattern transfer resolution below 100 nm; resolution is limited by the proximity effect; EBL is commonly used to manufacture high resolution masks for photolithography and X-ray lithography.
lithography  process used to transfer pattern from the mask/reticle to the layer of resist deposited on the surface of the wafer; kind of lithography depends on the wavelength of radiation used to expose resist: photolithography (or optical lithography) uses UV radiation, X-ray lithography uses X-ray, e-beam lithography uses electron bean, ion beam lithography uses ion beam.
photolithography, optical lithography  pattern definition method which uses UV radiation to expose the resist; the most common lithography technique in semiconductor manufacturing; using extremely short wavelength UV (extreme UV; wavelenghts below 200 nm), projection printing (steppers), phase shift masks, and adequate resist technology photolithography is capable of resolution below 100 nm.
proximity effect  deleterious effect in e-beam lithography; scattering of electrons in irradiated resist; p.e. is responsible for the size of the exposed resist area being larger than the diameter of the incident electron beam; limits resolution of e-beam lithography.
raster scan  scanning mode in which beam is moving back and forth over the entire substrate; beam is turned on over designated area and then turned off until it will arrive at the next designated area.
variable shape beam  scanning mode in e-beam lithography in which shape of the beam is changing depending on the geometry of exposed area.
vector scan  scanning mode in which beam is scanning selected areas only; after scanning of selected area is completed beam is turned off and moved to another area to be scanned.
X-ray lithography  lithography method using X-ray to expose the resist; due to shorter wavelength of X-ray radiation (0.4 - 4 nm)XRL allows higher resolution than photolithography which uses longer wavelength UV irradiation; XRL requires special mask and resists sensitive to X-rays.
Term (Index) Definition
electron beam (e-beam) resist  resist used in e-beam lithography.
Term (Index) Definition
electron beam, e-beam  geometrically confined and accelerated by electrostatic interactions stream of electrons directed toward desired target; direction of the beam can be rapidly altered in the controlled fashion to scan the target; shape of the beam (cross section)can be precisely controlled and rapidly changed.
electron beam (e-beam) evaporation  material is evaporated as a result of highly localized heating by bombardment with high energy electrons generated in an electron gun and directed toward the surface of source material confined in the crucible; evaporated material is very pure; bombardment of metal with electrons is accompanied by generation of low intensity X-rays which may create defects in the oxide present on the surface of the substrate; typically, an anneal is needed to eliminate those defects.
electron beam (e-beam) lithography, EBL  lithography technique which uses focused beam of electrons to expose the resist; no mask is used as pattern is "written" directly into the resist by very fast scanning of electron beam; pattern transfer resolution below 100 nm; resolution is limited by the proximity effect; EBL is commonly used to manufacture high resolution masks for photolithography and X-ray lithography.
Term (Index) Definition
electron effective mass,  a parameter specific to a given semiconductor material; determines the effect of an external force on the motion of electron in the conduction band of the crystal.
conduction band  the upper energy band in semiconductor separated by the energy gap (bandgap)from the valance band; c.b. is not completely filled with electrons, hence, electrons can conduct in the conduction band.
electron  negatively charged particle in an atom; carrier of smallest (elemental) electric charge of 1.60X10-19 C; carrier of negative charge in semiconductors.
effective mass  effective mass of electrons and holes in semiconductor is defined taking into account forces exerted on the carriers by the atoms in the given crystal; different in different semiconductors, hence, mobility of charge carriers is different in different semiconductors.
Term (Index) Definition
electron gas, 2-dimensional  Two-Dimensional Electron Gas(2-DEG; motion of electrons in the quantum well is confined to two dimensions only.
Term (Index) Definition
electron gun  a device installed in vacuum systems to produce electrons; electrons are emitted from the solid filament and then directed and accelerated by magnetic field.
Term (Index) Definition
electron mobility  measure of electron scattering in semiconductor; proportionality factor between electron drift velocity and electric field as well as between carrier concentration and conductivity of semiconductor; unit cm2/V s; the same way as effective mass of an electron, electron mobility is different for different semiconductors; electron mobility at 300 K for three key semiconductors: Si -1500 cm2/V s, GaAs -7500 cm2/V s, 6H-SiC -400 cm2/V s; higher mobility of charge carriers makes semiconductor better suited for high speed applications.
drift velocity  velocity of charge carriers in semiconductor under the influence of electric field; as opposed to carriers in free space carriers in semiconductor are not "infinitely" accelerated by the electric field because of the scattering, and thus, they reach a finite velocity regardless of the period of time over which the field is acting; at a given electric field drift velocity is determined by the mobility of charge carrier.
hole mobility  parameter which is a measure of hole scattering in a semiconductor; proportionality factor between hole drift velocity and electric field as well as conductivity and hole concentration in semiconductor; due to its higher effective mass, hole mobility is typically significantly lower than electron mobility.
scattering  process responsible for electron in a certain state, defined by its crystal momentum, suddenly moving into a different state; result of interactions with host atoms in the lattice, dopant atoms, as well defects; fundamental effect defining electron transport in semiconductor; in a way scattering can be seen as a "collision" during which species do not come to physical contact.
mobility  important parameter defining transport of free charge carriers in semiconductor, and hence, semiconductor's conductivity; proportionality factor between semiconductor conductivity and concentration of charge carriers; different for different semiconductors due to the difference in the effective nass of charge carriers in different semiconductors; higher for electrons than holes due to lower effective mass.
Term (Index) Definition
Electron Projection Lithography, EPL  modification of e-beam lithography in the direction of a incresed process throughput; elimination of time consuming beam scanning.
electron beam (e-beam) lithography, EBL  lithography technique which uses focused beam of electrons to expose the resist; no mask is used as pattern is "written" directly into the resist by very fast scanning of electron beam; pattern transfer resolution below 100 nm; resolution is limited by the proximity effect; EBL is commonly used to manufacture high resolution masks for photolithography and X-ray lithography.
Term (Index) Definition
electron spin, spin  electron spin is an inherent property of electrons; binary in nature (spin s = 1/2 or s = -1/2 only); this property of electron is exploited in the new generation of digital semiconductor devices (spintronics)in which electron's spin rather than its charge control device operation.
spintronics  scientific and technical domain focused on using electron's spin, not its charge, to implement memory effect in electronic devices; idea is based on the inherent binarity of spin states; spins can only be aligned up or down.
Term (Index) Definition
hot electron  electron which is not in thermal equilibrium with the lattice; typically carrier "heating" occurs in the regions of semiconductor device featuring very high electric field; hot electrons create severe reliability problems in semiconductor devices.
Term (Index) Definition
Scanning Electron Microscopy, SEM  imaging method with lateral resolution better than 10 nm; focused beam of electrons is scanned across a sample; image constructed based on the detection of secondary electrons current; studied material must be coated with a conductive film; very useful in semiconductor technology.
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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.