Lecture 2 ic fabrication processing & wafer preparation
ECE614: Device Modelling and
Unit 1 IC Fabrication Processing &
By Dr. Ghanshyam Singh
After studying the material in this unit, you will be able to:
1. Describe how raw silicon is refined into semiconductor
2. Explain the wafer fabrication method for producing
3. Discuss the basic transistor behaviour.
4. Outline and describe the basic process steps for wafer
preparation, starting from a silicon ingot and finishing with
6. Explain what is Latch-up and how to avoid it in fabrication.
• A wafer is a thin slice of semiconducting material, such
as a silicon crystal, upon which microcircuits are
constructed by doping (for example, diffusion or ion
implantation, etching, and deposition of various materials.
• Wafers are cut out of silicon boules
• A boule is a single crystal silicone from which
wafers are cut using diamond saws.
• Once the wafers are prepared, many process steps are necessary to
produce the desired semiconductor integrated circuit. In general, the steps
can be grouped into four areas:
• •Front end processing (formation of transistors on silicon wafers)
• •Back end processing (interconnection of transistors by metal wires)
• In semiconductor device fabrication, the various processing steps fall into four
general categories: deposition, removal, patterning, and modification of electrical
• Deposition is any process that grows, coats, or otherwise transfers a material onto
the wafer. Available technologies consist of physical vapor deposition (PVD),
chemical vapor deposition (CVD), electrochemical deposition (ECD), molecular
beam epitaxy (MBE) and more recently, atomic layer deposition (ALD) among
Removal or Etching Process
• Removal processes are any that remove material from the wafer either in
bulk or selective form and consist primarily of etch processes, both wet
etching and dry etching such as reactive ion etch (RIE). Chemical
mechanical planarization (CMP) is also a removal process used between
Masking and Patterning
• Patterning covers the series of processes that shape or alter the existing shape of
the deposited materials and is generally referred to as lithography. For example, in
conventional lithography, the wafer is coated with a chemical called a photoresist.
The photoresist is exposed by a stepper, a machine that focuses, aligns, and moves
the mask, exposing select portions of the wafer to short wavelength light. The
unexposed regions are washed away by a developer solution. After etching or
other processing, the remaining photoresist is removed by plasma ashing.
• Many modern chips have eight or more levels produced in over 300 sequenced processing
• IC built on silicon substrate (mono crystal silicone):
– some structures diffused into substrate;
– other structures built on top of substrate.
• Substrate regions are doped with n-type and p-type impurities. (n+,p+ =
• When silicon is doped, n-type impurities (5-valence electron elements
such as arsenic) charge silicon atoms with electrons, p-type impurities (3-
valence electrons such as boron) charge them with holes
• Wires made of polycrystalline silicon (poly), and/or multiple layers of
• Silicon dioxide (SiO2) is insulator. (is grown over Si by heating Si in a pure
oxygen or water vapor atmosphere)
Mask patterns are put on wafer using photo-
A typical wafer is made out of extremely pure silicon that is
grown into mono-crystalline cylindrical ingots (boules) up to 12
in (300 mm) in diameter using the Czochralski process. These
ingots are then sliced into wafers about 0.75 mm thick and
polished to obtain a very regular and flat surface.
First place tubs to provide properly-doped
substrate for n-type, p-type transistors: (Front-
Process steps, cont’d.
Pattern polysilicon before diffusion regions:
poly polygate oxide
Electrical Transistor Model
• Vgs: gate to source voltage
• Vds: drain to source voltage
• Ids: current flowing between drain and source
• k’: transconductance > 0
• Vt: threshold voltage > 0 for n-type <0 for p-
• W/L: width to length ratio
• Linear region (Vds < Vgs - Vt):
– Id = k’ (W/L)[(Vgs - Vt)Vds - 0.5Vds
– Not quite a linear relation between Id and Vds but the
quadratic term becomes more negligible than the linear
term as Vds approaches 0. This is typically the case with the
absolute value of the threshold Vt voltage remaining close
• Saturation region (Vds >= Vgs - Vt):
– Id = 0.5k’ (W/L)(Vgs - Vt) 2
– Id remains constant over changes in Vds
– Increases with transconductance, channel width, and
decreases with channel length.
0.5 µm transconductances
From a MOSIS process:
– kn’ = 73 µA/V2
– Vtn = 0.7 V
– kp’ = 21 µA/V2
– Vtp = -0.8 V
Current through a transistor
Example: Using 0.5 µm transconductance parameter of 73
µA/V2, threshold voltage of 0.7 volts, and SCMOS rules
with W 3λ, L = 2 λ:
• Saturation current at Vgs = 2V:
Id = 0.5k’(W/L)(Vgs-Vt)2= 93 µA
• Saturation current at Vgs = 5V:
Id = 1012 µA ~ 1 mA
Basic transistor parasitics
• There are myriad parasitics and parasitics models. The ones considered
here are the most widely-encountered parasitics.
• Gate to substrate, also gate to source/drain.
• Source/drain capacitance, resistance.
Basic transistor parasitics, cont’d
• Gate capacitance Cg. Determined by active
• Source/drain overlap capacitances Cgs, Cgd.
Determined by source/gate and drain/gate
overlaps. Independent of transistor L.
– Cgs = Col W (Col is the unit overlap capacitance per
µm2, For small channel length, Col might indirectly
depend on L.)
– Gate/bulk overlap capacitance.
• CMOS ICs have built-in undesirable parasitic
silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs).
• When powered up, SCRs can turn on, creating
low-resistance path from power to ground.
Current can destroy chip.
• Early CMOS problem. Can be solved with
proper circuit/layout structures.
Silicon Controlled Rectifier(SCR)
• In normal mode, no current flows over the pnpn path when the
middle pn junction is reverse-biased. With the help of a gate pulse
voltage, this pn junction can be forced into its breakdown region,
making it conduct current. At that point, there will be a path of
current from the anode to the cathode with no resistance even after
the gate voltage is withdrawn. This is the basis for a high current from
VDD to the ground (substrate) in MOS transistors, called the latch up.
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
circuit I-V behavior
V Reverse voltage
Rs and Rw control the bias
voltage on the green
Parasitic SCR structure
Solution: connect the n-tub to the VDD
When transistor on the right conducts, it turns on the
transistor on the left, and this in turn forces the first
transistor to draw more current, establishing a
positive feedback loop.
Solution to latch-up
Use tub ties to connect tub to power rail. Use
enough to create low-voltage connection.
Doping the tub at the
point of contact reduces
the resistance of
contact, and this makes
it more difficult for
bipolar transistor to
Tub tie layout
You can learn more about latch up by downloading the article at