To overcome the limitations of short channel effects and leakage current associated with scaling of planar MOSFETs, the Integrated Circuit industry has adopted novel three-dimensional device architectures such as FinFETs and Gate-All-Around transistors. The knowledge of the active dopant distribution within these devices is key for the development of the doping processes and consequently, for ensuring high device performance. It has been shown in the past that Scanning Spreading Resistance Microscopy (SSRM) – an electrical mode of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) - has the capability to measure 3D carrier profiles quantitatively with sub-nm resolution (!) using the scalpel approach where nanometer thick material is removed layer-by-layer while 2D resistance scans are taken simultaneously. This provides extremely valuable insight into the electronic structure at the heart of devices, impossible to obtain with any other technique. However, when targeting sub-10nm 3D devices the physics enabling this superior resolution is being challenged by the limited amount of material (10 nm = approx. 40 atoms thick) and the presence of multiple interfaces. In this project, we explore the probe-sample interaction for ultrathin layers and the subsequent current flow both from an experimental and theoretical point of view.During the internship, the student will independently design and perform dedicated experiments on 3D nano-structures. In parallel, simulations will be run to isolate the impact of various physical phenomena, such as the effect of material thickness, interfaces, changes in mechanical properties etc. Consequently, the student will both be trained in AFM (with a special focus on SSRM) and simulations, and will be taught to critically analyze, interpret and correlate data. Furthermore, the student will be a part of a multidisciplinary R&D team and will be guided by experts in the field. Some basic understanding of semiconductor (device) (MOSFETs/FinFETs) physics is a plus, but a proactive can-do attitude is even more important. A good command in English is required. At the end of this internship, the student will leave with knowledge on semiconductor physics and skills on the characterization of state-of-the-art devices combined with an immersion into the high-tech research environment of imec.
Type of project: Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis
Duration: 6 months
Required degree: Master of Science
Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics
Imec allowance will be provided.