Chapter 1

Silicon and Silicon Carbide Oxidation 1

This chapter is devoted to the physics of silicon and silicon carbide oxidation. We will find in this chapter, an examination of the main techniques of deposition and growth of thin films. The reader will then discover how the laws governing oxidation are established, in particular those concerning silicon oxidation. This remains nowadays the most widespread method in the manufacture of integrated circuits and of MEMS in the broad sense. This chapter has a double purpose. First, it is written to expose in detail the theoretical principles that are particularly interesting for researchers, and secondly, to review a certain number of experimental results, useful in the practice of any process engineer.

1.1. Introduction

The substantial improvement of the electrical and physical characteristics of the SiO2/Si interface leads to an impressive development of integrated circuits. That was made possible by a better understanding, over time, of the way in which silica is manufactured by deposition or growth on silicon.

Although thermal growth is nowadays one of the most frequently used methods, other techniques have also been developed. In section 1.2, we review the main passivation techniques employed today in industry as well as in research laboratories.

In the semiconductor industry, silica can be manufactured by thermal growth from silicon substrates placed at atmospheric pressure in a flux of water vapor, oxygen or a mix of oxidizing ...

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