Lab Based Unit Operations in Microelectronics Processing


Historically, chemical engineering has been focused on petrochemical and bulk chemical production. However, over the last 10-15 years more chemical engineers and chemical engineering opportunities for new graduates have moved into the microelectronics industry. This is especially true in Oregon and at Oregon State University, where approximately 60% of the B.S. and M.S. graduates in the last five years have been employed in some sectors of the microelectronics and related industries. Many chemical engineering pioneers in this field have acknowledged this trend and have been active in relating chemical engineering principles to these new fields [1, 2]. A number of schools have started to incorporate microelectronic processing into their curriculum. For the most part, this material tends to be presented in specialized courses. However, when presented in the context of core chemical engineering courses, these unit operations can provide students with depth as well as breadth knowledge [4, 5]. An example of such an approach is the incorporation of thermal oxidation of silicon into the unit operations lab at Georgia Tech [3]. The chemical engineering department at OSU is committed to developing strength in microelectronics processing within the context of the fundamental skills of the discipline. To this end, we have started and will continue to develop curricular and experimental modules from selected unit operations common in the microelectronics industry, and to integrate these into the classroom and the laboratory.

[1] Microelectronics Processing: Chemical Engineering Aspects, Advanced in Chemistry series, Vol. 221, D.W. Hess and K.F. Jensen eds., American Chemical Society, Washington, DC 1989.
[2] Process Engineering Analysis in Semiconductor Device Fabrication, S. Middleman, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY 1993.
[3] “Thermal Oxidation of Silicon: a Unit Operation for ChEs,” D. W. Hess, S. Bidstrup-Allen, P. Kohl, M. Allen and G. May, presented at Session 19, ASEE Summer School for Chemical Engineering Faculty, Snowbird, UT (1997).
[4] Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, H. Scott Fogler, 3rd Ed., Prentice-Hall PTR 1999.
[5] Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer, James Welty, Charles Wicks, Robert Wilson, and Gregory Rorrer, 4th ed., John Wiley & Sons., 2001.



Spin Coating

Chemical Vapor Deposition

Plasma Etching

Chemical Mechanical Polishing

Electrochemical Deposition