The contribution of silicon starting material to device yield potential via gate oxide breakdown performance has grown in importance with the continually increasing levels of device gate area. Gate oxide integrity (GOI) testing is applied in silicon wafer manufacturing to determine the material-related capacitor defect density. GOI testing is used as a research tool and as part of a standard test set for evaluating and qualifying process changes from crystal pulling through final wafer cleaning. GOI measurements are also used to monitor finished wafer product quality. Other parallel material measurements are made for comparison and examined for correlation with GOI. Applications and results of GOI measurements in silicon wafer manufacturing are reviewed.
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