Scanning Electron Microscopy


The manufacture of solid state devices in the microelectronics industry involves crystal growth, slice preparation, diffusion and implantation, oxide and metal deposition, patterning and etching, probe testing and packaging of completed devices. This simplified process flow is adopted in an overview to briefly outline some established as well as newly developed techniques of materials characterization. The complexity of semiconductor processing has imposed greater stringency criteria which have resulted in the revitalization of old methods as well as the development of new techniques capable of extreme sensitivity and spatial resolution.

Examples given for trace impurity and dopant detection include neutron activation analysis, infrared and photoluminescence spectroscopies, atomic resonance ionization, and accelerator based mass spectroscopy. Some methods highlighted for measuring thin film composition and quality are scanning Lang and double crystal x-ray topographies and Rutherford backscattering and Auger spectroscopies. The strengths and frequency of use of these are compared relative to one another and the process steps used in semiconductor manufacture.

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