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    Survey of Literature on Minority Carrier Lifetimes in Silicon and Related Topics

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    Minority carrier lifetime is a property of semiconductor material, but the characteristics of this property are closely related to the device and the application for which the material is intended. While the device and application do not appear to be central to the determination of minority carrier lifetime, they can make the difference between successful and meaningless measurements. A short history of the lifetime characterization of silicon is given. Methods of measurement are briefly discussed, along with some of their advantages and pitfalls. Minority carrier lifetime data are summarized. Some of the more important sources of defects and lifetime killers are surveyed, along with speculation about phenomena that cause postfabrication degradation and potential recovery. Device processing steps that can have a catastrophic or benign effect upon the length of minority carrier lifetime are mentioned. Means of limiting lifetime reproducibly are touched upon. Based on the results of this survey, some recommendations are made.


    minority carrier lifetime, recombination, generation, measurement, material lifetime, device lifetime, degradation, impurities, defects, centers, lattice vacancies, lattice interstitials, quenching, irradiation, annealing, silicon

    Author Information:

    Ross, B
    Consultant, 2154 Blackmore Court, San Diego, Calif.

    Committee/Subcommittee: F01.06

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35124S