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Virtual NanoFab A Silicon NanoFabrication Trainer. Nick Reeder, Sinclair Community College Andrew Sarangan , University of Dayton Jamshid Moradmand , Sinclair Community College. Challenge: Providing Hands-on Silicon Nanofabrication Experience.

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virtual nanofab a silicon nanofabrication trainer

Virtual NanoFabA Silicon NanoFabrication Trainer

Nick Reeder, Sinclair Community College

Andrew Sarangan, University of Dayton

JamshidMoradmand, Sinclair Community College

challenge providing hands on silicon nanofabrication experience
Challenge: Providing Hands-on Silicon Nanofabrication Experience
  • The facilities needed to do silicon nanofab are very expensive.
solution virtual nanofab
Solution: Virtual Nanofab
  • Software that we’re developing to teach students about the steps involved in processing a silicon wafer.
  • Please take a copy of the installation disc!
  • System Requirements:
    • Operating system: Windows XP or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard drive: 300 MB of free space
    • If your computer does not have National Instruments LabVIEW installed, you must install the free LabVIEW run-time engine, which is included on the installation disc.
example fabricating a mosfet
Example: Fabricating a MOSFET
  • MOSFET = Metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor
mosfet in virtual nanofab
MOSFET in Virtual NanoFab

The structure shown required about 25 steps.

user operations
User Operations
  • Thermal oxidation
  • Photolithography
      • Spin coat
      • Mask
      • Expose
      • Develop
  • Removing material
      • Wet etch
      • Dry etch
  • Depositing layers of material
      • E-beam evaporation
      • Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
      • Sputtering
  • Ion implantation (“doping”)
thermal oxidation
Thermal Oxidation
  • Grows a layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) on the wafer surface.
  • Key properties of SiO2:
    • Impervious to ion implantation.
    • Can be etched away by immersion in hydrofluoric acid (HF), which does not etch silicon.
  • Steps in photolithography:
    • Spin-coat photoresist.
    • Create and place mask. Mask defines which areas will be exposed to UV light and which areas will be shaded.
    • Expose with UV light.
    • “Develop” the photoresist: UV-exposed areas are removed, while shaded areas remain.
photolithography in virtual nanofab
Photolithography in Virtual NanoFab
  • Before exposing:
  • After exposing (but before developing):
  • After developing:
exposure with uneven layer thicknesses
Exposure with Uneven Layer Thicknesses

Note that resist above silicon is more fully exposed than resist above aluminum.

removing material
Removing material
  • Methods of removing material
    • Wet etching
      • Low-tech
      • Immerse wafer in a bath of liquid acid or solvent
    • Dry etching
      • High-tech
      • Expose wafer to plasma beam
etching in virtual nanofab
Etching in Virtual NanoFab

SiO2 (blue) after wet etch with hydrofluoric acid: note tapered sidewalls and undercut of photoresist (pink).

SiO2 after dry etch with CF4 plasma: note vertical sidewalls.

depositing layers
Depositing Layers
  • Methods of depositing materials
    • Electron-beam evaporation
    • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
    • Sputtering
deposition in virtual nanofab
Deposition in Virtual NanoFab

Evaporated titanium (gray): accumulates only on horizontal surfaces.

Chemical-vapor-deposited titanium: adheres to vertical surfaces as well as horizontal.

ion implantation
Ion Implantation
  • Modifies the electrical characteristics of the silicon wafer: key to the operation of semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors.
  • Implanting boron results in “p-type” doping.
  • Implanting phosphorus results in “n-type” doping.
other features
Other Features
  • Maintains history of user operations.
  • “Reference & Videos” page provides chapters explaining theory, along with videos of operations being performed in the lab.