Master Course Description


No: EE486




Credits: 3


UW Course Catalog Description


Coordinator: Martin A. Afromowitz, Professor, Electrical Engineering


Goals: To develop a working knowledge of the methods of integrated circuit fabrication.


Learning Objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:


1. Design and analyze a process sequence for manufacture of microelectronic chips.

2. Understand the physical and chemical bases for the common IC processes.

3. Explain how the limitations of the materials and fabrication methods lead to limitations in device characteristics.


Textbook: S. Wolf, Microchip Manufacturing, Lattice Press.


Reference: None


Prerequisites by Topic: An introduction to semiconductor devices and materials.




1. Overview; Elements of IC's (Chap. 1-4)

2. Semiconductor Substrates (Chap. 9-10)

3. Impurity Diffusion (Chap. 11)

4. Thermal Oxidation of Silicon (Chap. 13)

5. Ion Implantation (Chap. 12)

6. Lithography (Chap. 18-20)

7. Vacuum Technology (Chap. 6)

8. Evaporation (Chap. 7, 15)

9. Plasma Processing (Chap. 14)

10. Etching (Chap. 21-22)

11. Chemical Vapor Deposition (Chap. 16)

12. Epitaxy (Chap. 17)

13. Process Integration

14. Material and Device Characterization


Course Structure: The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a 75-minute period. There is a weekly homework assignment, two midterm exams and a final.


Laboratory Resources: None


Grading: Course grading will be based upon homework (20%), the midterm exams (20% each) and the final (40%).


Outcome Coverage:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. In almost every lecture, math, science and engineering knowledge will be developed in the student. This includes detailed discussion of the physics, chemistry and technology of silicon planar processing and its mathematical simulation. The homework and exams will test various aspects of the math, science and engineering knowledge developed by the students. (M)


(c) An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability. Homework assignments include process design problems in which the students design partial and complete process sequences for the fabrication of simple silicon devices with specified characteristics within strict manufacturability guidelines. Overall, design issues will be discussed in about 25% of the lectures and will contribute to about 25% of the final grade. (H)


(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. The homework problems challenge the students to identify engineering problems that evolve from a high-level design objective, and to formulate a methodology for achieving success, and ultimately to solve the problem. (M)


(h) The broad education necessary to see the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context. Semiconductor chips have become pervasive in almost every product we buy, ranging from talking infant's toys to the cars we drive. In reviewing the societal impact of the increased complexity and lower cost of modern silicon integrated circuits, we also discuss the potential for future improvements, and consider the changes that may result from them. (L)


(i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. The design and fabrication of IC's is one of the fastest changing engineering fields. We constantly stress the speed of discovery, and the need for a professional to maintain awareness of new developments. (L)


(j) Knowledge of contemporary issues. The physical limitations inherent in Moore's Law and proposed new device structures are discussed. (L)


(k) An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. The computer simulations of processing sequences exemplify the use of modern engineering software tools for analysis of complex physical processes. Students devise a time-step integration method for analyzing diffusion of impurities with non-constant diffusion coefficients. This exercise anticipates the methods that are used in professional process simulation software. (M)


Prepared By: Martin A. Afromowitz


Last Revised: 12/4/12