New materials to handle all that data
Electronic, photonic and magnetic materials are key drivers in technological advancements for information storage, processing and delivery.
Materials science combines chemistry, physics and engineering to develop versatile new materials and processes for electronics that scale down to the nano level. As information grows exponentially, the push for new materials continues, leading to more advances in electronics, photonics and magnetic material.
Raman imaging is used in photonics to measure waveguides and to explore potential new electronic materials from sources such as aligned carbon nanotubes. Raman, XPS, XRF, and XRD techniques are frequently used in many areas of investigation, including the analysis of semiconductor materials to evaluate stress in silicon.
The use of platinum group metals (PGMs)—platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium—is prevalent in electronics, and demand for these materials is increasing. Read this blog on the many uses of these types of metals and the considerations that weigh in in on the development and production of electronics.
Electronic and photonic analysis resources
Featured surface analysis videos
MAGCIS from the inside out
This dual-mode ion source enables depth profile analysis and surface cleaning of both hard and soft materials on the same XPS instrument.
High performance multi-technique XPS System for semiconductor device analysis
XPS instrument with multi-technique capabilities measures depositions, showing the thickness of materials in deposition cycles. ISS shows if the deposition has partial coverage of the layer. REELS yields band gap data. Raman provides information about structures in the layered material.
Mapping of semiconductors
The shrinking of transistors in integrated circuits requires thinner and thinner dielectric layers between the gate electrode and the channel. To continue developing smaller sizes, silicon dioxide must be replaced as the dielectric material because, at the thickness required for the transistor design, the leakage current would become unacceptable. So there has been a move toward materials having a high dielectric constant (high-k dielectrics) which brings some new analytical requirements. In addition to layer thickness, these parameters also become important:
- Thickness of any intermediate layer (silicon dioxide or metal silicate)
- Distribution of elements in the layer
- Quantity of the active material in the layer
- Chemical state of the elements in the intermediate layer
- The uniformity of these parameters across the wafer
The whole dielectric layer can be analyzed at near normal electron emission angles without removing any material. XPS provides information about the chemistry of the layers and their interfaces while angle resolved XPS (ARXPS) provides information about layer thickness and the distribution of materials within the layer. ARXPS is non-destructive and avoids the use of sputtering with an ion beam. Sputtering has been shown to alter the composition of the layer and causes atomic mixing, both of which can cause a misinterpretation of the data.