EE 410/510 - Microfabrication & Semiconductor Processes

(Dr. John Williams, Fall 2008)

[course notes listed below]


Course Syllabus

Course Instructor: 
Dr. J. D. Williams    406 Optics Building     (256) 824 – 2898
Office Hours:

Required Textbook:
Mark Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: The Science of Miniaturization, 2nd ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2002.

Additional References: 

  1. Ashby, Shercliff, and Cebon, Materials Engineering, Science, Processing , and Design, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2007.
  2. Wolf and Tauber, Silicon Processing for the VLSI Era, Vol1: Process Technology, 2nd ed., Lattice Press, 1999.
  3. Cambell, The Science and Engineering of Microelectronic Fabrication, 2nd ed., Oxford, NY, 2004.
  4. Moreau, Semiconductor Lithography: Principles, Practices, and Materials, Plenum Press, NY 1998.
  5. Mack, Fundamentals Principles of Optical Lithography: Science of Microfabrication, Wiley Interscience, NY, 2008.
  6. Lieberman, and Lichtenberg, Principles of Plasma Discharges and Materials Processing, Wiley Interscience, NY, 1994.
  7. Brodie, Physics of Micro/Nano-Fabrication, Plenum Press, NY, 1993.
  8. Ohring, Material Science of Thin Films: Deposition and Structure, 2nd ed., Academic Press, San Diego, 2002.
  9. Kovacs, Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook, McGraw Hill, Boston, 1998.
  10. Maluf and Williams, An Introduction to Micrloelectromechanical Systems Engineering, 2nd ed., Artech, Norwood, MA , 2004.
  11. Staff edited, CNF Nanocourses, Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility, 1998-2008
  12. Goddard, et al., Handbook of Nanoscience Engineering and Technology, CRC Press, 2002.
  13. Bhushan, Handbook of Nano-technology, 2nd ed., Springer Verlag, 2006.
  14. Proceedings of the SPIE (largest series of conference proceedings in optics, photonics, plasmonics, and MEMS)
  15. IEEE Transactions (several journals representing different topics), IEEE Press
  16. Sensors and Actuators (A & B), Elsevier Publishing
  17. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, IEEE Press
  18. Journal of Micromechanics, and Microengineering, IOP Press
  19. Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, SPIE Press
  20. Science Magazine, AAA Press
  21. Nature, Nature
  22. Journal of the American Vacuum Society (A & B), AVS Press
  23. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, AIP Press
  24. Journal of Applied Physics, AIP Press

Course Prerequisites: 

One year of Physics, One year of Chemistry, Calculus (I,II, III),
Helpful but not required:
        Introduction to Differential Equations
        Materials Science

Course Material:

  1. Review of early developments in Microfabrication Process Engineering
  2. Introduction to Material Science for device fabrication
  3. Optical Lithography
  4. Plasma Etching
  5. Thin Film deposition (PVD, CVD, Oxidation, Epitaxy)
  6. Wet Processing (silicon etching, metal etches)
  7. Surface Micromachinging of silicon
  8. LIGA and UV LIGA (Thick resist lithography, electroplating, molding)
  9. Metrology (including discussion on the applications space for AFMs)
  10. Packaging
  11. Scaling laws and their influences on process and design selection
  12. Novel Applications in MEMS, Semiconductors, and Nanotechnology such as next generation lithography, quantum computing, biological manipulation

Final Grade:





2 per Semester



Paper/ 10 min presentation





Grades depend heavily on the student’s ability to understand the concepts behind individual fabrication processes and the ability to apply these concepts collectively toward device design. 

Example test questions: 
1.  Explain the physics involved in reactive ion etching.  Of the tool sets available, which type (RIE, microwave asher, ECR, ICP) offers the fastest etch rates and why?  Which type is most commonly used for descumbing resist?  What is the reason?  What was the principle design flaw in ECR technology in the 1990s.  What effect did it have on the success of this etch method?  Was the replacement method really that much better?

2.  Describe the process by which you would fabricate the Texas Instruments DLP micro mirror.  Provide descriptions of each particular process step and explain why it was chosen over other means.  How is your scheme integrated with the required IC drive circuit.  Does your scheme offer flexibility for improvements in the next generation design?  If so, explain.


Part 1 - Course introduction

Part 2 - Materials, Definitions, Scaling Laws

Part 3 - Photolithography

Part 4 - Wet Etching

Part 5 - Dry Etching

Part 6 - Thin Film Deposition

Part 7 - Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Part 8 - Semiconductor Diffusion

Part 9 - Ion Implantation

Part 10 - LIGA

Part 12 - MEMS Packaging