Novel 3-D IC technology
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For many decades silicon based CMOS technology has made continual increase in drive current to achieve higher speed and lower power by scaling the gate length and the gate insulator thickness. The scaling becomes increasingly challenging because the devices are approaching physical quantum limits. Three-dimensional electronic devices, such as double gate, tri-gate and nanowire field-effect-transistors (FETs) provide an alternative solution because the ultra-thin fin or nanowire provides better electrostatic control of the device channel. Also high-[kappa] oxides lower the gate leakage current significantly, due to larger thickness for the same equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) compared with SiO₂ beyond the 22 nm node. Moreover, metal gate that avoids the poly-depletion effect in poly-Si gate has become mainstream semiconductor technology. The enabler technologies for high-[kappa] / metal gate 3D transistors include fabrication of high quality, vertical nanowire arrays, conformal metal and dielectric deposition and vertical patterning. One of the main focuses of this dissertation is developing a fabrication process flow to realize high performance MOSFETs with high-[kappa] oxide and metal gate on vertical silicon nanowire arrays. A variety of approaches to fabricating highly ordered silicon nanowire arrays have been achieved. Deep silicon etching process was developed and optimized for nanowire FETs. Process integration and patterning mythologies for high-[kappa] / metal gate were investigated and accomplished. 3-D electronic devices including nanowire capacitors, nanowire FETs and double gate MOSFETs for power applications were fabricated and characterized. The second part of this dissertation is about flexible electronics. Mechanically flexible integrated circuits (ICs) have gained increasing attention in recent years with emerging markets in portable electronics. Although a number of thin-film-transistor (TFT) IC solutions have been reported, challenges still remain for fabrication of inexpensive, high performance flexible devices. We report a simple and straightforward solution: mechanically exfoliating a thin Si film containing ICs. Transistors and circuits can be pre-fabricated on bulk silicon wafer with conventional CMOS process flow without additional temperature or process limitations. The short channel MOSFETs exhibit similar electrical performance before and after exfoliation. This exfoliation process also provides a fast and economical approach to produce thinned silicon wafers, which is a key enabler for three-dimensional (3D) silicon integration based on Through Silicon Vias (TSVs).