Use of Silvaco TCAD software for teaching Silicon Processing technology

Reproduced here with the kind permission of Professor Y T Yeow of The University of Queensland, Australia:

Today much of the development of semiconductor devices and processes is done by computer modeling. The approach is called TCAD (short for Technology-Computer Aided Design). Use of TCAD tools reduce the development cost and shorten the development time. In a teaching environment, TCAD tools present unique possibilities in term of visualization of processing steps, description of the physical changes and understanding of the interrelation of the process variables. Modeling of processes provides a way for the student to interactively explore the fabrication process, study the effects of process choices, in a word, participate in the activity of a "Virtual Wafer Fabrication" factory.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the teaching of Silicon Processing technology through a computer simulation software from SILVACO. The work covers the 2-D simulation of various fabrication steps such as oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation and comparison with 1-D analytical models.

This work shows that use of process simulator to teach semiconductor processing is indeed possible. This approach of using 2-D simulator has the additional advantage of being more realistic when compared with the conventional 1-D analytical approach.