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Joe Conforto
Joe Conforto

The Science And Engineering Of Microelectronic Fabrication (The Oxford Series In Electrical And Comp UPD


A detailed analysis of semiconductor processing technologies that form the basis for the physical realization of all semiconductor based device applications; from the realization of very large and ultra scale integrated circuits (VLSICs, ULSICs) and complex system-on-chip (SoC) application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to individual device research and development in photonics, photonic integrated circuits (PICs), micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS), etc. The primary objective of this course is to provide students with the fundamental understanding of standard unit processes involved in microfabrication, enforcing their experience with implementation projects in a microfabrication laboratory, and providing familiarity with basic microfabrication tools. Although considerable focus will be given to Si-based microfabrication technologies, primarily because of its dominance in microelectronic industry today, the course material will be enriched with the cutting-edge compound semiconductor technologies (specifically GaAs/AlGaAs and InP/InGaAsP technologies) to provide a sound foundation for general semiconductor based fabrication, research and development.




The Science and Engineering of Microelectronic Fabrication (The Oxford Series in Electrical and Comp


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Microfabrication is a general, catch-all term that describes the technologies that are used to manufacture integrated circuits and micromachines [1]. It includes techniques for depositing or implanting dopants onto or into substrates, techniques for growing epitaxial layers onto substrates, methods for etching materials off of substrates, methods for oxidizing materials, methods for patterning one material on another material, and methods for diffusing dopants into materials. Most microfabrication techniques and technologies have at least their roots in technologies originally developed for the microelectronics industry, see for example [2]. Microfabrication is no longer the preserve of the microelectronics industry however; it is used in areas of optics such as integrated-optics and electro-photonics, it is used in the fabrication of microsensors [3], it is used to fabricate micro-electromechanical systems, and, of course, it is finding increasing applications in the biological sciences.


Artificial Intelligence and Decision-making combines intellectual traditions from across computer science and electrical engineering to develop techniques for the analysis and synthesis of systems that interact with an external world via perception, communication, and action; while also learning, making decisions and adapting to a changing environment.


Protein patterning techniques are crucial for the development of antibody-based biosensor and the study of controlled cell growth. This paper discusses a protein patterning technique based on microelectronic fabrication, DNA hybridization and biotin-streptavidin pair. A gold-on-silicon-dioxide substrate with micron size pattern was fabricated with photolithography and lift-off process. The average surface roughness of the gold pattern is 4.3 nm, measured by contact mode AFM. Thiol derivatized single stranded DNA was attached to the gold pattern surface by the chemical bonding between gold atom and sulfur atom. Surface attached DNA was then hybridized with a biotin conjugated complementary DNA sequence. Thus, the gold pattern was translated into a biotin pattern with similar resolution. Fluorescein conjugated streptavidin was patterned as demonstration. Fluorescence microscopy shows relative uniform streptavidin coverage of micron resolution and low background non-specific binding. The proposed protein patterning technique takes advantage of the high resolution of modern microelectronic fabrication. It has the potential of reaching sub-micron resolution. The biotin-streptavidin pair provides extremely specific and stable linking for protein immobilization. To show its application in biological inspired self-assembly, this technique was used successfully in the self-assembly of 20 nm streptavidin conjugated gold particles.


During the construction of recording head devices, corrosion of metal features and subsequent deposition of corrosion by-products have been observed. Previous studies have determined that the use of N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) may be a contributing factor. In this study, we report the use of a novel multiplatform analytical approach comprising of pH, liquid chromatography/UV detection (LC/UV), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and LC/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to demonstrate that reaction conditions mimicking those of general photoresist removal processes can invoke the oxidation of NMP during the photolithography lift-off process. For the first time, we have confirmed that the oxidation of NMP lowers the pH, facilitating the dissolution of transition metals deposited on wafer substrates during post-mask and pre-lift-off processes in microelectronic fabrication. This negatively impacts upon the performance of the microelectronic device. Furthermore, it was shown that, by performing the process in an inert atmosphere, the oxidation of NMP was suppressed and the pH was stabilized, suggesting an affordable modification of the photolithography lift-off stage to enhance the quality of recording heads. This novel study has provided key data that may have a significant impact on current and future fabrication process design, optimization, and control. Results here suggest the inclusion of pH as a key process input variable (KPIV) during the design of new photoresist removal processes.


This laboratory is utilized for teaching the basics of microelectronic fabrication process to students in the BSEE degree program. The laboratory is primarily used for teaching EE 451, IC Fabrication, and EE 451L, IC Fabrication Lab, senior design, and research. Both courses EE 451 and EE 451L are required for students in the Microelectronics-VLSI Concentration of the BSEE degree program. Students in the General and Computer Engineering concentrations may take these courses towards fulfillment of the senior elective requirements of the BSEE degree. Students use the laboratory facility to layout, simulate, fabricate and test microelectronic subsystems and gain hands on fabrication process experience. The Clean Room/Fabrication Process Laboratory is a 2500 sq. ft. clean room facility with state of the art environmental control systems and equipment. The clean room is ISO Class 6 rated, with Class 5 and Class 4 workspace. The facility contains the basic process and fabrication tools necessary to instruct in microelectronics and MEMS technology or to develop new technology. The facility is equipped with wet and dry chemical processing and fabrication tools for silicon VLSI and thin film technology including thin film deposition systems, plasma ashing and etching systems, diffusion, oxidation and annealing systems, photolithography processing and mask alignment tools capable of sub-micron dimensions, packaging tools and analysis and testing tools including vector network analyzers, as well as extensive electronic and microwave simulation tools for process and device evaluation. Software and simulation tools are available for design and simulation of 3-D MEMS structures including structures designed to work in the dc to 100 GHz range. Fabrication equipment include a state-of-the-art custom computer controlled six-tube Steed diffusion furnace system with expansion capability for LPCVD polysilicon and silicon nitride, Kurt J. Lesker PVD 75 sputtering deposition system, Kurt J. Lesker PVD 75 e-beam/thermal evaporation system, CEE model 200CBX spin/bake unit, SUSS MA6 Gen4 pro mask aligner system, Tempress dicing saw, Ted Pella XP Precision Sectioning Saw, Westbond die bonder, Rudolph ellipsometer, Technics planer plasma etch system, Technics etcher/stripper, several class-100 laminar flow dry and wet workstations, Signitone/Lucas four-point probe, Nikon and Olympus microscopes, Nanometrics film measurement system, MRK image analysis and dimensional measurement system, MMR hall and Seebeck measurement system, ULVAC advanced laser PIT thermal diffusivity instrument, Blue M softbake and hardbake ovens, particle counter, Tencor Profilometer, Simitool Spin Rinser Dryers, Wentworth wafer prober, K&S wire bonder and David Mann photomask pattern generator and step & repeat cameras. The facility is plumbed with dry nitrogen from external liquid storage tanks and provided with a DI water system operating as a closed loop system to maintain better than 18MΏ water purity.


The primary utilization of the Characterization Laboratory is for research and senior design projects in EE 470, EE 471. The laboratory is also used to demonstrate principles of electronic material measurements and characterization to students in EE 431, Semiconductor Engineering II. The laboratory contains instruments for analysis, characterization and testing of microelectronics material, devices and circuits. Principal laboratory equipment include JEOL Model JSM-6610LV scanning electron microscope with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and nanometer pattern generation system (NPGS) for e-beam lithography, Oxford Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS); and a nanometer pattern generation system (NPGS) by the Nabity Company. This equipment is complemented by characterization and testing instruments necessary to accomplish the characterization objectives including semiconductor parametric analyzers for C-V (capacitance-voltage) measurements, and ac small-signal electrical characterization impedance and gain phase analyzers. A Hall Effect system supported by Van der Pauw resistivity measurement system is also available. The laboratory has complete access to the microelectronics process laboratory including its complement of inspection microscopes, wafer probing equipment, plasma etchers and film measurement systems. The characterization laboratory supports research in material characte


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