Advance Materials and Processes for Integrated Microcircuit Technology

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Improvements in technology, as we get closer and closer to the limits of Moore's law, require the use of a holistic design approaches as a new paradigm in value creation for future technologies. In light of these limitations, technology innovations should focus not only on shrinkage but also on a combination of exotic materials and novel designs. This idea constitutes the frame work of the research work presented in this thesis. The work focuses on the study of novel micro-circuit ideas founded on material processes, integrations and device structures.

This work begins with a hydrated Ruthenium oxide and activated carbon based electrochemical energy cell is introduced. Multiple electrode materials, packaging approaches and electrolyte composition are investigated. The performances of the various devices are evaluated. The studies on the fabrication of the novel electrochemical energy cell yielded encouraging results where the most promising cell is the Graphite-Zinc cell.

Subsequently, the examination of a novel AlxGa1-xN alloy device structure and growth method that enables simultaneous dual UV-wavelength band detection. A clear roadmap to the creation of a dual UV-wavelength detector array, based on confined epitaxial growth, is offered. The growth mechanism involved in the confined epitaxial growth approach, which enables the stacking of active layers with varying stoichiometry, is introduced. Electrical and optical evaluations of the fabricated detectors proves the diode nature of the detectors; while, spectral sensitivity curves demonstrate dual UV-wavelength sensitivity of the detector array.

Finally, an inexpensive and effective sub-wavelength lithography technique based on a novel mask is studied. The concept behind the mask is to substitutes the conventional clear and opaque mask by a "dot array" mask making use of plasmonic waves. The mask is then utilized for far-filed imaging within a traditional stepper. Mask principals, fabrication approach and characterization of the printed patterns are presented. Contact windows were exposed with critical dimensions down to 110nm using 248nm incident radiation. While the exposure times are slightly longer than usual, the imaged patterns appear to be a cooperative effect of scattering from multiple apertures. The absence of a few random apertures does not distort the printed patterns.