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For the characterization of the starting silicon material lifetime measurements were carried out very early in silicon technology. A wide variety of measurement techniques was developed, such as diffusion length measurement, the photocurrent method, and the widely used photoconductivity decay method (PCD).
As silicon technology developed, lifetime measurements for the characterization of the starting (ingot) material became less important because of the increase in the perfection and purity of the silicon. In turn, lifetime measurements for in-process control of the device fabrication became more and more important.
For the characterization of neutron transmutation doped (NTD) silicon, lifetime measurements on the ingot material have become important again because of the dependence of the lifetime on the thermal annealing process subsequent to the irradiation.
silicon, minority carrier lifetime
Section manager, Wacker Chemitronic, Burghausen,