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White Paper

Surface Characterisation in the Semiconductor Industry

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) is one of the most important characterisation tools in the semiconductor industry and provides:

  • dopant and impurity depth profiling of silicon, III-V and II-VI substrates
  • analysis of thin film structures (dielectric materials, SiGe, III-V, and II-V)
  • ultra-high depth resolution profiling of shallow implants and films
  • calibration of ion implantation tools
  • failure analysis studies on devices

SIMS has several key features which specifically benefit the industry and include:

  • detection sensitivity for dopants and impurities in the ppm – ppb range
  • quantitative depth profiling with nm scale depth resolution
  • detection of all elements and isotopes, including H
  • excellent dynamic range (up to 6 orders of magnitude)
  • small-area analysis on device features

Semiconductor device technology continues to advance with scaling to smaller dimensions, allowing for greater device density and higher switching speeds. As the technology has moved through the 130, 90 and 65nm nodes there has been a consequential demand for new materials to counteract the effects of shrinking dimensions.

At the same time, developments in solar research and optoelectronics have also produced a new range of compound semiconductor-based devices with complex thin layer structures.

Lucideon has developed a range of analytical protocols using SIMS and other techniques to provide those in the semiconductor and related industries with solutions to problems in product development, process improvement, reverse engineering, and failure analysis. 

This white paper summarises a range of typical applications relevant to the semiconductor industry.

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