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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.


Including some 500 new terms defined and remaining terms updated and modified, a 2nd edition book version of this glossary is now available.

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Term (Index) Definition
metallic contaminant  atoms of metals deposited on the Si surface during device processing as a reult of process malfunction; common metallic contaminants: Fe, Al, Cu, Ca, Na; originate from process chemicals, ambient, and tools; major reliability problem; should not be allowed on Si surface in concentrations above 109 cm-2; designated cleans are applied to remove metallic contaminants from the surface.
diffusion length  term applies to the electron transport by diffusion; the distance over which concentration of injected free charge carriers injected into semiconductor falls to 1/e of its original value.
aluminum, contaminant, Al  common metallic contaminant in silicon processing; main source: APM cleaning solution; slows down thermal oxidation of silicon if not removed prior to oxidation; affects oxide reliability; detection and measurement on Si surface by TOF-SIMS.
breakdown  catastrophic effect occurring in the presence of high electric field and causing originally high resistance element (e.g. MOS capacitor of reverse biased p-n junction) to allow flow of high current; typically an irreversible effect permanently damaging the element; also occurs in materials in the presence of very high electric field.
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.
generation lifetime  average time needed to generate electron-hole pair
GOI  Gate Oxide Integrity; term implies electrical "integrity" of gate oxide; determined through various current/voltage/electric field stress tests of MOS gate stacks.
iron, Fe  common metallic contaminant in semiconductor processing; introduces energy levels in Si bandgap if thermally activated; may originate from several sources including cleaning solutions (SC-1).
numerical aperture, NA  parameter defining geometry of the objective lens used in projection printing in photolithography; determines lens' ability to collect light diffracted from a mask/reticle; attempts are continuously made to keep NA as high as possible (see immersion lithography for instance).
TXRF  Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (spectroscopy); very effective method for detection of metallic contaminants on the wafer surface; detection of the energy of photons emitted from atoms on the surface as a result of X-ray irradiation at the angle assuring total external reflectance.
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Jerzy Ruzyllo is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

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Created and operated by J. Ruzyllo. Copyright © J. Ruzyllo 2001-2016. All rights reserved.

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.