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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: July 2014

1 - Thin-film applications to microelectronic technology



Layered thin-film structures are used in microelectronic, opto-electronic, flat panel display, and electronic packaging technologies. A few examples are given below. Very large-scale integration (VLSI) of circuits on computer chips are made of multilayers of interconnects of thin metal films patterned into submicron-wide lines and vias. Semiconductor transistor devices rely on the growth of epitaxial thin layers on semiconductor substrates, such as the growth of a thin layer of p-type Si on a substrate of n+-type Si [1–3]. The gate of the transistor device is formed by the growth of a thin layer of oxide on the semiconductor. Solid-state lasers are made by sandwiching thin layers of light-emitting semiconductors between layers of a different semiconductor. In electronic and optical systems, the active device elements lie within the top few microns of the surface; this is the province of thin-film technology. Thin films bridge the gap between monolayer (or nanoscale structures) and bulk structures. They span thicknesses ranging from a few nanometers to a few microns. This book deals with the science of processing and reliability of thin films as they apply to electronic technology and devices [4]. To begin, this chapter describes the application of thin films to modern advanced technologies with examples.

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[1] Yuan, Taur and Tak H., Ning, Fundamentals of Modern VLSI Devices (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998).
[2] S. M., Sze (ed.), VLSI Technology (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1983).
[3] K. N., Tu, J. W., Mayer, and L. C., Feldman, Electronic Thin Film Science (Macmillan, New York, 1992).
[4] M., Ohring, Reliability and Failure of Electronic Materials and Devices (Academic Press, San Diego, 1998).
[5] K. N., Tu, Solder Joint Technology (Springer, New York, 2007).
[6] K. L., Puttlitz and K. A., Stalter (eds), Handbook of Lead-Free Solder Technology for Microelectronic Assemblies (Marcel Dekker, New York, 2004).
[7] International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, Semiconductor Industry Association (San Jose, 2009). See website