Want to know more about how our analysis methods can support your research in electronic engineering and semiconductor materials? Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or a professor, we’ve put together some relevant application examples of our solutions in semiconductor research and device processing.

The materials and analytical equipment used in these examples overlap with Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics and Applied Physics, so you may find additional information on those pages. Method abbreviations are explained at the bottom of this page.

Semiconductor research

Our applications in semiconductor research primarily involve high resolution X-ray Diffraction of epitaxial layers. Thin film growth by MBE, MOCVD or CVD are big research areas in Electronic Engineering and Physics departments. This is where we find the highest concentration of our High-Resolution XRD applications. There is a constant quest to develop new semiconductor materials and to overcome the many challenges of incorporating new materials into working devices. The table below provides a selection of application notes that exemplify typical measurements on semiconductor materials. Click on any of the links in the table to discover more!

Semiconductors Research

Method

Sample

Application Note Title (Link)

Epitaxial layers - finding reflections

HR-XRD

GaN / InGaN alloys

Available reflections for coplanar and in-plane XRD of GaN and related alloys

Epitaxial layers - rapid measurements

HR-XRD

InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells

Fast X-ray diffraction measurements on semiconductor structures

Epitaxial layers - thermal stability

HR-XRD

AlInN/GaN/Sapphire

Studying the thermal stability of gallium nitride based high electron mobility transistor structures

Epitaxial layers – strain, composition, and layer thickness

HR-XRD

Gallium Nitride and related compounds

XRD of gallium nitride and related compounds: strain, composition and layer thickness (booklet)

Epitaxial layers - strain, composition, and layer thickness

HR-XRD

GaAs on Ge on Si

Semiconductor thin films. Analysis of III-V solar cells on silicon substrates

Narrow bandgap (IR) semiconductors - film composition,  thickness

XRF

InxSy films on glass

Zetium - Analysis of InxSy layers on glass using Stratos

OLED polymers - molecular weight

GPC

Poly(phenylene-vinylene) (PPV) in Chloroform; 2) poly(fluorene-phenylenevinylene)(PF-PPV) in THF; 3) polythiophene (PT) in Chloroform

Conjugated Polymer Analysis by GPC-PDA

Perovskite semiconductors - defects

Reflection Topography

Perovskite LiTaO3 

Reflection topography with PIXcel3D

Phase change materials - crystalline phase identification

XRD / XRR

Germanium Antimony Telluride (Ge2Sb2Te5) PCM

Combining XRR & XRD for in-situ investigation of phase change materials

Thin films - In-plane methods

XRD / HR-XRD

Co films in hard disks, GaN on Sapphire

In-plane diffraction

Thin-film solar cells - overview

XRD / HR-XRD

Solar cell materials, general

X-ray diffraction techniques for characterization of thin film solar cells

Wide bandgap (UV) semiconductors  - thin film quality

XRD / XRR

ZnO films on glass

Comprehensive XRD investigation of ZnO thin films

Device processing

Malvern Panalytical’s wafer analyzer is not often employed in university research, but it is worth showing here some of the process fabrication instances where it is employed to measure elemental composition and film thickness. Wafer cutting and polishing is also an important step in device processing and particle size characterization is important to control the quality of cutting and polishing slurries.  Click on any of the links in the table to discover more!

Device Processing

Method

Sample

Application Note Title (Link)

Dielectric films - composition, thickness

XRF

Borophosphosilicate glass (BPSG) Dielectric films, Boron, phosphorous, Silicon

Analysis of BPSG films

Diffusion barrier layers - composition, thickness

XRF

Cu/TaNx multilayers on Si wafers

Simultaneous analysis of Cu/TaNx stacks

Diffusion/bonding metallization - composition thickness

XRF

TiNx layers on Si wafers

FP Multi analysis of TiNx thin films on Si substrates

Epitaxial layers -composition

XRF

Ge concentration in Si(1-x)Gex films

Analysis of Si(1-x)Gex films

Ferroelectric/Dielectric films - composition, thickness

XRF

Barium Strontium Titanate (BST) films on Pt

Analysis of barium strontium titanate (BST) films on Pt

Gate connecting layers - thickness

XRF

Tungsten (W) layers

Analysis of W films

Gate technology - layer thickness

XRF

WSix deposition on Silicon

Analysis of WSix films

Giant magnetoresistant multilayers - composition, thickness

XRF

Ta, NiMn, PtMn, CoFe, Cu, NiFe, Al2O3 thin films

Analysis of Giant Magneto Resistance GMR film stacks using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

Interconnect layers- composition, thickness

XRF

AlCu interconnect layers on S substrate

Analysis of AlCu films

Passivation layers - thickness

XRF

Ni-Ta thin films on Si

Zetium - Analysis of Ni-Ta thin films using Stratos

Read/write heads for hard drives - layer thickness

XRF

CoNiFe films on hard drives

In-line process control of CoNiFe layers in the manufacturing of read/write heads

Wafer cutting slurry - particle size and shape

Imaging

Silicon carbide - abrasive slurry

Analysis of wire saw abrasive slurries to facilitate recycling using the FPIA-3000 automated dynamic image analysis system

Wafer polishing slurry – particle size

ELS / DLS

Silica-based particles in ammonia salt solution, silica-based particles in KOH solution

Characterization of SiO2 Slurry Samples Used in Chemical Mechanical Polishing

Wafer polishing slurry - zeta potential

ELS

 SiO2 or Al2O3 particles

Zeta Potential Measurement of Highly Concentrated CMP Slurry Dispersions

Abbreviations explained

Our products and technologies are described on the Products pages. Below you can find a quick reference to the properties measured by our instruments, together with the measurement name and its abbreviation. Click on each method to find out more about it! 

Abbreviation

Method Name

Instrument(s)

Measured Property

DLS

Dynamic light scattering

Zetasizer

Molecular size, hydrodynamic radius RH,  particle size, size distribution, stability, concentration, agglomeration

ELS

Electrophoretic light scattering

Zetasizer

Zeta potential, particle charge, suspension stability, protein mobility

ITC

Iso-thermal calorimetry

MicroCal  ITC

Binding affinity, thermodynamics of molecular reactions in solution

DSC

Differential scanning calorimetry

Microcal DSC

Denaturing (unfolding) of large molecules, stability of macromolecules

IMG

Automated Morphological Imaging

Morphologi 4

Imaging of particles, automated shape and size measurement

MDRS

Morphologically directed Raman spectroscopy

Morphologi 4-ID

Imaging of particles, automated shape and size measurement, chemical identification and contaminant detection

LD

Laser diffraction

Mastersizer

Spraytec

Insitec

Parsum

Particle size, size distribution

NTA

Nanoparticle tracking analysis

NanoSight

Particle size, size distribution, and concentration

SEC or GPC

Size exclusion chromatography /

Gel permeation chromatography

OMNISEC

Molecular size, molecular weight, oligomeric state, polymer or protein size and molecular structure

SPE

Sample preparation by fusion

Le Neo

LeDoser

Eagon 2

The OxAdvanced

M4

rFusion

Fused Bead Sample preparation for XRF, Peroxide solution preparations for ICP, Flux weighing for beadmaking

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Ultra-violet / visible / near infra-red / short wave infra-red spectrometry

LabSpec

FieldSpec

TerraSpec

QualitySpec

Material identification and analysis, moisture, mineral, carbon content. Ground truthing for airborne and satellite spectroscopic techniques.

PFTNA

Pulsed fast thermal neutron activation

CNA

In-line elemental analysis

XRD-C

X-ray diffraction (crystallography)

Aeris

Empyrean

Molecular crystal structure refinement,

crystalline phase identification and quantification, crystalline to amorphous ratio, crystallite size analysis

XRD-M

X-ray diffraction (microstructure)

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Residual stress, texture

XRD-CT

X-ray absorption imaging by computed tomography

Empyrean

3D imaging of solids, porosity, and density

SAXS

Small-angle X-ray scattering

Empyrean

Nanoparticles, size, shape and structure

GISAXS

Glancing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering

Empyrean

Nanostructured thin films and surfaces

HR-XRD

High-resolution X-ray diffraction

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Thin-films and epitaxial multilayers, composition, strain, thickness, quality

XRR

X-ray reflectometry

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Thin films and surfaces, film thickness, surface and interface roughness

XRF

X-ray fluorescence

Epsilon

Zetium

Axios FAST

2830 ZT

Elemental composition, elemental concentration, trace elements, contaminant detection

Expert solutions in electronic engineering and semiconductor materials. Contact us to discuss your challenges.
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