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MS Program in Microelectronic Engineering

The objective of the master of science program is to provide an opportunity for students to perform a graduate level research as they prepare for entry into the semiconductor industry or a Ph.D. program. The program requires strong preparation in the area of microelectronics, takes two years to complete and requires a thesis.


The prerequisites include a BS in engineering (such as electrical or microelectronic engineering), including an introductory course in device physics and an introductory course in fabrication technology. Students from RIT's BS in microelectronic engineering will meet these prerequisites. Students who do not have these prerequisites can take these courses during their first quarter of study at RIT and still complete the master of science program in two years. The prerequisite courses will not count toward the 36 credits worth of graduate courses required for the MS degree.

The program consists of eight graduate level (700 level or higher) courses, including seven core courses and one elective course for students with BS degree in a discipline other than Microelectronic Engineering. Five core course and three elective courses are required for students with BS in Microelectronic Engineering. In addition, all graduate students in this program are required to take a variable-credit (1 or 0 credits) seminar/research course each quarter that they are at RIT. Up to 4 credits will be allowed to count toward the required 36 hours. A nine-credit thesis that includes dissertation submission and oral defense will be required of all students in this program. The total number of credits needed for the master of science in microelectronics engineering is 45.

Core courses

0305-702 Microelectronics II, Lab
0305-703 Microelectronics III, Lab
0305-704 Semiconductor Process and Device Modeling
0305-705 Quantum and Solid State Physics Fundamentals
0301-712 Physics & Scaling of CMOS
0305-721 Microlithography Materials, Lab
0305-731 or
0305-732*
Microelectronics Manufacturing I/II, Lab

* 731 cannot be taken for graduate degree credit by students with a BS in Microelectronic Engineering

Elective courses

The following elective courses are offered by the department of microelectronic engineering for graduate credits:

0305-706 SiGe and SOI Devices and Technology
0305-707 Nanoscale CMOS
0305-722 Microlithography Systems, Lab
0305-732 Microelectronics Manufacturing II, Lab
0305-830 Defect reduction and Yield Enhancement
0305-870 Microelectromechanical Systems
0305-890 Special Topics

Based on the student's particular needs, he or she may, with the department approval, choose electives from other programs in the institute

Example Schedules

Sample MS schedule

for students with a BS degree other than Microelectronic Engineering
Credits
FALL
0305-701 Transition Microelectronics I, Lab 4
0305-560 Transition Device Physics 4
0305-721 Microlithography Materials and Processes, Lab 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
WINTER
0305-702 Microelectronics II, Lab 4
0305-731 Microelectronics Manufacturing I, Lab 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
  Full Time Equivalency 3
SPRING
0305-703 Microelectronics III, Lab 4
0305-7XX Elective 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
  Full Time Equivalency 3
SUMMER
Research
FALL
0305-705 Quantum and Solid State Physics Fundamentals 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-889 Thesis 3
  Full Time Equivalency 4
WINTER
0305-704 Semiconductor Process and Device Modeling 4
0301-712 Physics & Scaling of CMOS 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-899 Thesis 3
SPRING
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-899 Thesis 3
  Full-time Equivalency 8

 

Sample MS schedule

for students with a BS in Microelectronic Engineering
Credits
FALL
0301-705 C Quantum and Solid State Physics Fundamentals 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-XXX E Elective 1 4
Full-time Equivalency 3
WINTER
0301-712 C Physics & Scaling of CMOS 4
0305-704 C Semiconductor Process and Device Modeling 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
  Full-time Equivalency 3
SPRING
0301-XXX E Elective 2 4
0305-732 C Microelectronics Manufacturing II, Lab 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
SUMMER
Research
FALL
0305-XXX E Elective 3 4
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-899 Thesis 3
Full-time Equivalency 4
WINTER
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-899 Thesis 3
Full-time Equivalency 8
SPRING
0305-801 Seminar/Research 1
0305-899 Thesis 3
Full-time Equivalency 8

Admission requirements

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in electrical, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, physics or the equivalent, from an accredited college or university in good academic standing. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale or strong academic / supervisor endorsements are required. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not mandatory but may support the candidacy.

Plan of study

The student in consultation with his or her advisor formulates a plan of study based on the student's academic background, program objectives, degree requirements and course offerings and submit it to the department office within the first year. If necessary, the plan of study may be requested for revision with the recommendation of the advisor.

Assistantships and fellowships

A limited number of assistantships and fellowships may be available for full-time students. Appointment as a teaching assistant carries a 12-hour-per-week commitment to a teaching function and permits a student to take graduate work at the rate of 12 credits per quarter. Appointment as a research assistant also permits taking up to 12 credits per quarter while the remaining time is devoted to the research effort, which often serves as a thesis subject. Students in the MS program are eligible for research fellowships. Appointments provide full or partial tuition and stipend. Applicants for financial aid should write directly to the department head for details.

Faculty Advisors



Dr. Karl Hirschman kdhemc@rit.edu

For students with BS in other engineering disciplines:

Dr. Sean Rommel slremc@rit.edu


 

Microelectronic Engineering

0305-701 Microelectronics I

The rapid growth of the integrated circuit (IC) industry has led to the emergence of microelectronic process engineering as a new discipline. This course introduces the beginning graduate students to the fabrication of solid-state devices and integrated circuits. The course presents an introduction to basic electronic components and devices, layouts, unit processes common to all IC technologies such as substrate preparation, oxidation, diffusion and ion implantation. The course will focus on basic silicon processing. The students will be introduced to process modeling using a simulation tool such as SUPREM. Associated are a lab for on campus section (01), and discussion of laboratory results and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90). The lab consists of conducting a basic metal gate PMOS process in the RIT clean room facility to fabricate and test a PMOS integrated circuit test chip. Laboratory work also provides an introduction to basic IC fabrication processes and safety. Class 3, lab 3, Credit 4 (F, S)

0305-702 Microelectronics II

The fundamental silicon based processing that includes state-of-the-art issues such as thin oxide growth, atomistic diffusion mechanisms, advanced ion implantation and rapid thermal processing (RTP). Physical vapor deposition (PVD) to form conductive and insulating films is introduced. These topics are essential for understanding the fabrication of modern IC's. Computer simulation tools (i.e. SUPREM) are used to model processes, build device structures, and predict electrical characteristics, which are compared to actual devices that are fabricated in the associated laboratory for on campus section (01) and discussion of laboratory results and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90). A bipolar IC process is conducted to build and test a variety of bipolar devices. The process employs ion implantation. Extensive use of CAE tools such as SUPREM is involved. (0305-701). Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4 (W)

0305-703 Microelectronics III

This course focuses on the deposition and etching of thin films of conductive and insulating materials for IC fabrication. A thorough overview of vacuum technology is presented to familiarize the student with the challenges of creating and operating in a controlled environment. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and electroplating technologies are discussed as methods of film deposition. Plasma etching and Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) are studied as methods for selective removal of materials. Applications of these fundamental thin film processes to IC manufacturing are presented. Associated is a laboratory for on campus section (01) and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90). This laboratory complements the lecture material to give students practical, hands-on experience with thin film processing equipment. The specific laboratories include 1) vacuum pump-down and evaporation, 2) dc sputtering, 3) reactive magnetron sputtering, 4) chemical mechanical planarization, 5) atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition, 6) low pressure chemical vapor deposition, and 7) plasma and reactive ion etching. Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4 (S, Su)

0305-704 Semiconductor Process and Device Modeling

A senior graduate level course on the application of simulation tools for design and verification of microelectronic processes and operation of semiconductor devices. Technology CAD tools include MicroTec and Silvaco (Athena/Atlas) process/device simulators, as well as other simulation tools for specific processes, and math programs that can be used for custom simulation. Various models that describe front-end silicon processes are explored emphasizing the importance of complex interactions and 2D effects, as devices are scaled deep submicron. Includes laboratory exercises on simulation and modeling. (0305-560, 0305-701,702). Class 3, Lab 3, Credits 4 (W)

0305-705 Quantum and Solid State Fundamentals

This course describes the key elements of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics that are necessary in understanding the modern semiconductor devices. Quantum mechanical topics include solution of Schrodinger equation solution for potential wells and barriers, subsequently applied to tunneling and carrier confinement. Solid state topics include electronic structure of atoms, crystal structures, direct and reciprocal lattices. Detailed discussion is devoted to energy band theory, effective mass theory, energy-momentum relations in direct and indirect band gap semiconductors, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, statistical physics applied to carriers in semiconductors, scattering and generation and recombination processes. Class 4, Lab 0, Credit 4 (F)

0305-706 SiGe and SOI Devices and Technology

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of SiGe and Silicon on Insulator (SOI) devices and fabrication technologies. The course will first discuss the band structure of the SiGe material system, and how its properties of band structure and enhanced mobility may be utilized to improve traditional Si devices. Basic heterojunciton theory will also be introduced to students. Some specific applications that will be introduced include heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs), SiGe-channel MOS devices, and high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). The course will also describe the fabrication technologies for realizing SOI substrates that include SIMOX and SMART CUTTM technologies. The physics of transistors built on SOI substrates will be discussed. At the completion of the course, students will be asked to write a term paper summarizing the literature in a key topical area of this course. Class 4, Lab 0, Credit 4 (S)

0305-707 Nanoscale CMOS

This course consists of an in-depth study of principles and practice of scaling-driven CMOS front and back end processing. Front end processing involves steps up to the fabrication of active devices that include wells, isolation, gate insulator, gate electrode, and source/drain formation. Many device effects observed in submicron MOSFETs are impacted by the process technology used to fabricate them. Back end topics will include interconnect modeling and delay, Low-k dielectric and copper damascene processes. The use of novel substrates such as strained silicon, SiGe and Ge will be described. It is aimed to introduce and explain the students the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). This course will expose the students with different aspects of active researches in exploring the next-generation of nanometer-scale CMOS with device concepts that take the advantage of quantum mechanical phenomena such as discreteness of electron charges and quantum confinement. (0305-560, 0305-701,702,703). Class 4, Lab 0, Credit 4. (W)

0305-721 Microlithography Materials and Processes

Covers the chemical aspects of microlithography and resist processes. The chemistry of positive (novolac-based) and chemically amplified resist systems will be studied. Topics include the principles of photo polymerization, including synthesis, photo absorption and emission, processing technologies and methods of process optimization. Also advanced lithographic techniques and materials, including multi-layer techniques for BARC, TARC, and silylation are applied to optical lithography. Associated is a lab for on campus section (01) and discussion of laboratory results and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90). In the lab, materials characterizations and process optimizations are carried out using experimental design techniques. Processes to be studied include development rate monitoring, DUV resists, BARC, resist silylation and SEM evaluation of imaged resists and etched structures. Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4 (F)

0305-722 Microlithography Systems

A course covering the physical aspects of lithography. Image formation in optical projection, optical proximity, and high-energy systems (DUV/VUV, e-beam/SCALPEL, X-ray, and EUV) are studied. Fresnel diffraction, Fraunhofer diffraction, and Fourier optics are utilized to understand diffraction-limited imaging processes. Topics include illumination, lens parameters, image assessment (resolution, alignment and overlay), phase-shift masking, and resist interactions. Lithographic systems are designed and optimized through use of modeling and simulation packages. Current status of the practical implementation of advanced technologies in industry as well as future requirements will be presented. Associated is a lab for on campus section (01) and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90). Laboratory topics emphasize optical microlithography modeling, illumination systems, reticle enhancement techniques, alignment, and optimization of image capture related to focus, exposure and substrate reflectivity. Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4 (S)

0305-731 Microelectronics Manufacturing I

A course in CMOS manufacturing. Topics include CMOS process technology, work in progress tracking, CMOS calculations, process technology, long channel and short channel MOSFET, isolation technologies, back-end processing and packaging. Associated is a lab for on campus section (01) and a graduate paper/case study for distance learning section (90). The laboratory for this course is the student-run factory. Lot tracking, data collection, lot history, cycle time, turns, CPK and statistical process control are introduced to the students. Silicon wafers are processed through an entire CMOS process and tested. Students design unit processes and integrate them into a complete process. Students evaluate the process steps with calculations, simulations and lot history, and test completed devices. Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4 (W)

0305-732 Microelectronics Manufacturing II

A course in CMOS manufacturing. Topics include query processing, measuring factory performance, factory modeling and scheduling, cycle time management, cost of ownership, defect reduction and yield enhancement, reliability, 6 sigma manufacturing, process modeling and RIT's advanced CMOS process. Associated is a lab 0305-762 for on campus section (01) and a graduate paper for distance learning section (90), Laboratory experiences are related to the operation of the student-run integrated circuit factory. Silicon wafers are processed through a complete CMOS process. (0305-731). Class 3,Lab 3, Credit 4 (S)

0305-760 Principles of Semiconductor Devices

This course will discuss the fundamentals underlying the operations of basic semiconductor devices employed in modern integrated circuits. The course includes modules on Semiconductor Fundamentals, P-N Junction Diodes, Metal-Semiconductor Junctions, Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Capacitors, Field Effect Transistors, and Bipolar Junction Transistors presented through a series of lectures that qualitatively and quantitatively explain the operation of semiconductor devices. Each module features a segment on √ídeviations from ideality√ď that are observed in practical semiconductor devices and will provide insight into the constraints imposed by VLSI design rules and processing. This course is an online course intended for professionals employed in various aspects of the semiconductor industry. Class 4, Lab 0, Credit 4. (F)

0305-770 Independent Study

This course number should be used by students who plan to study a topic on an independent basis under the guidance of faculty member. A written proposal with an independent study form is to be submitted to the sponsoring faculty member and approved by the department head prior to the commencement of work. Credit variable (maximum of 4 credits per quarter).

0305-777 Internship

This course number is used to fulfill the internship requirement for master of engineering degree program. The student must obtain the approval of the department head before registering for this course. Credit variable

0305-801 Seminar/research

Weekly seminar series intended to present the state of the art in microelectronics research. Other research-related topics will be presented such as library search techniques, contemporary issues, ethics, patent considerations, small business opportunities, technical writing, technical reviews, effective presentations, etc. Required of all MS microelectronic engineering students for one credit each up to four credits. After four credits, graduate students are required to register each quarter for no credits. (Graduate standing in MS in microelectronic engineering). Credit 0 to 1 (F, W, S)

0305-830 Defect Reduction, Yield Enhancement, and Reliability of Integrated Circuits

Successful IC manufacturing must detect defects (the non-idealities that occur in a process), eliminate those defects that preclude functional devices (yield enhancement), and ensure functionality for up to ten years of use in the field (reliability). This course surveys current CMOS manufacturing to compile a list of critical parameters and steps to monitor during manufacturing. This survey is followed with an in-depth look at the theory and instrumentation of the tools utilized to monitor these parameters. This tool set includes optical instrumentation, electron microscopy, surface analysis techniques, and electrical measurements. Case studies from industry and prior students are reviewed. Students are required to perform a project either exploring a technique not covered in class, or applying their course knowledge to a practical problem. (0305-560,0305-701). Class 4, Lab 0, Credits 4 (F)

0305-870 Microelectromechanical Systems

This course will provide an opportunity for the students to become familiar with the technology and applications of microelectromechanical systems (MEMs). This is one of the fastest growing areas in the semiconductor business. MEMS represent the integration of microelectronic chips with micro- sensors, probes, lasers, and actuators. Topics include basic principles of MEMs and fabrication methodologies. The accompanying laboratory will carry out design and fabrication of MEMs structures/devices using microfabrication techniques. Class 3, Lab 3, Credit 4. (W,S)

0305-890 Special Topics

This is a variable credit, variable special topics course that can be in the form of a regular course or independent study under a under a faculty supervision. Some of the topics are SOI device technology, compound semiconductors and devices, and Nanotechnology. Class 4, Lab 0, Credit 4.

0305-899 Thesis

The master's thesis in microelectronic engineering requires the student to prepare a written thesis proposal for approval by the faculty; select a thesis topic, adviser and committee; present and defend thesis before a thesis committee; submit a bound copy of the thesis to the library and to the department; prepare a written paper in a short format suitable for submission for publication in a journal; complete course work and thesis within a seven-year period; register for one credit of Continuation of Thesis each school term (except summer quarter) after the 45 credits required for the master's degree until the thesis is completed. (Graduate standing in MS in microelectronic engineering) Class 0, Lab 0, Credit variable 0 to 9 (F, W, S, SU)