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The Start Up Company Approach To Teaching Semiconductor Processing

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.427.1 - 2.427.6



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Paper Authors

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Anthony J. Muscat

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Evan D. H. Green

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Emily L Allen

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Linda Vanasupa

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2613

The Start-Up Company Approach to Teaching Semiconductor Processing Anthony J. Muscata, Emily L. Allenb, and Evan D. H. Greenc, and Linda S. Vanasupad a Department of Chemical Engineering b Department of Materials Engineering c Department of Electrical Engineering San Jose State University One Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192 d Department of Materials Engineering California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA

Abstract An interdisciplinary course in semiconductor processing has been developed and successfully introduced into the chemical, materials, and electrical engineering curriculums that blends new and traditional teaching techniques. A start-up company culture is created in which teams of “employees” composed of students from a range of disciplines and having varied industrial experiences work side-by-side on a long-term (semester) project threaded with short-term (two week) open-ended design components. The long-term laboratory project is to build integrated circuit devices on a 4" silicon wafer using a 5-mask pmos metal gate process. The short-term design experiments improve upon the existing IC process or develop a next generation process. In the lecture portion of the course both the unit operations needed for device building and the electrical principles required for device testing are discussed. The cooperative learning environment that is created provides the knowledge content of semiconductor processing and strengthens the oral and written communication skills necessary for success in industry.

I. Introduction Microelectronic device fabrication is inherently interdisciplinary. The microelectronic circuits that have found their way into so many parts of our daily activities are built by combining basic types of processes or unit operations. These basic processes include diffusion, thin film deposition, ion implantation, photolithography, and etching. Each of these basic processes in turn draws upon knowledge that is traditionally in the domain of physics, chemistry, and chemical, materials, and electrical engineering. For example, the gate dielectric (SiO2) in a transistor which is the workhorse of microelectronic devices is formed using a diffusion process. The skill set needed to properly understand and control this process is drawn from solid-state physics, crystallography, chemical kinetics, heat, mass, and fluid transfer, process control, and surface analytical techniques, to name a few. Understanding and controlling the other basic processes requires a different skill set, but one that is again drawn from several disciplines. The basic function and performance of the resulting device are tested using principles drawn from solid- state electronics. Since device fabrication is highly interdisciplinary there are advantages to teaching it that way in a single course.

The interdisciplinary nature of microelectronic device fabrication also provides an opportunity to improve communication, teamwork, and lateral thinking skills. It is just not possible throughout

Muscat, A. J., & Green, E. D. H., & Allen, E. L., & Vanasupa, L. (1997, June), The Start Up Company Approach To Teaching Semiconductor Processing Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6793

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