Microelectronic engineering affects nearly all aspects of our daily lives. RIT’s microelectronic engineering program is considered a world leader in the education of semiconductor process engineers.
Integrated microelectronic or nanoelectronic circuits and sensors drive our global economy, increase our productivity, and help improve our quality of life. Semiconductor and photonic devices impact virtually every aspect of human life, from communication, entertainment, and transportation to health, solid state lighting, and solar cells. RIT’s microelectronic engineering program is considered a world leader in the education of semiconductor process engineers.
The microelectronic engineering masters provides a unique combination of physics, chemistry, and engineering in a state-of-the-art facility to prepare graduates for the real world. With internationally renowned professors with years of experience, courses are grounded in reality – practical skill and advanced theory, combine for comprehensive learning. Put your knowledge to work with a microelectronic engineering masters from RIT.
The objective of the MS degree in microelectronic engineering is to provide an opportunity for students to perform graduate-level research as they prepare for entry into either the semiconductor industry or a doctoral program. The degree requires strong preparation in the area of microelectronics and requires a thesis.
Understand the fundamental scientific principles governing solid-state devices and their incorporation into modern integrated circuits.
Understand the relevance of a process or device, either proposed or existing, to current manufacturing practices.
Develop in-depth knowledge in existing or emerging areas of the field of microelectronics such as device engineering, circuit design, lithography, materials and processes, yield, and manufacturing.
Apply microelectronic processing techniques to the creation/investigation of new process/device structures.
Communicate technical material effectively through oral presentations, written reports, and publications.
Plan of study
The MS degree is awarded upon the successful completion of a minimum of 32 semester credit hours, including a 6 credit hour thesis.
The program consists of six core courses, two graduate electives, 2 credits of graduate seminar, and a six credit thesis. The curriculum is designed for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in microelectronic engineering. Students who have an undergraduate degree in microelectronic engineering develop a custom course of study with their graduate adviser.
A thesis is undertaken once the student has completed approximately 20 semester credit hours of study. Planning for the thesis, however, should begin as early as possible. Generally, full-time students should complete their degree requirements, including thesis defense, within two years (four academic semesters and one summer term).
Tianjin University of Technology leaders toured the RIT campus and its Kate Gleason College of Engineering as the Chinese university looks to expand its teaching and research capabilities in the area of microelectronic engineering.
Santosh Kurinec, a microelectronic engineering professor, was one of six influential women from around the world honored for their work as visionaries in technology, engineering and science and inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame.
Microelectronic Engineering, MS degree, typical course sequence
Sem. Cr. Hrs.
This course introduces the beginning graduate student to the fabrication of solid-state devices and integrated circuits. The course presents an introduction to basic electronic components and devices, lay outs, 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. 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 ship. Laboratory work also provides an introduction to basic IC fabrication processes and safety.
Semiconductor Process Integration
This is an advanced level course in Integrated Circuit Devices and process technology. A detailed study of processing modules in modern semiconductor fabrication sequences will be done through simulation. Device engineering challenges such as shallow-junction formation, fin FETs, ultra-thin gate dielectrics, and replacement metal gates are covered. Particular emphasis will be placed on non-equilibrium effects. Silvaco Athena and Atlas will be used extensively for process simulation. Graduate paper required.
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. Physical and Chemical Vapor Deposition (PVD & CVD) 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. Graduate paper required.
Lithography Materials and Processes
Microlithography Materials and Processes covers the chemical aspects of microlithography and resist processes. Fundamentals of polymer technology will be addressed and the chemistry of various resist platforms including novolac, styrene, and acrylate systems will be covered. Double patterning materials will also be studied. Topics include the principles of photoresist materials, including polymer synthesis, photochemistry, processing technologies and methods of process optimization. Also advanced lithographic techniques and materials, including multi-layer techniques for BARC, double patterning, TARC, and next generation materials and processes are applied to optical lithography. Graduate paper required.
This course focuses on 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. Topics include Lot tracking, query processing, data collection, lot history, cycle time, turns, CPK and statistical process control, measuring factory performance, factory modeling and scheduling, cycle time management, cost of ownership, defect reduction and yield enhancement, reliability, process modeling and RIT's advanced CMOS process. 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.
Microelectronics Research Methods
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.
Physical Modeling of Semiconductor Devices
A senior or graduate level course on the application of simulation tools for physical design and verification of the operation of semiconductor devices. The goal of the course is to provide a more in-depth understanding of device physics through the use of simulation tools. Technology CAD tools include Silvaco (Athena/Atlas) for device simulation. The lecture will explore the various models that are used for device simulation, emphasizing the importance of complex interactions and 2-D effects as devices are scaled deep-submicron. Laboratory work involves the simulation of various device structures. Investigations will explore how changes in the device structure can influence device operation.
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; prepare a written paper in a short format suitable for submission for publication in a journal.
Total Semester Credit Hours
The BS program in microelectronic engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. Visit the college's accreditation page for information on enrollment and graduation data, program educational objectives, and student outcomes.
Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in engineering or a related field.
Submit official transcripts (in English) from all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
Submit scores from the GRE. (RIT graduates exempt.)
Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
Candidates applying with a bachelor’s degree in fields outside of electrical and microelectronic engineering may be considered for admission; however, bridge courses may be required to ensure the student is adequately prepared for graduate study.
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 9 credits per semester. Appointment as a research assistant also permits taking up to 9 credits per semester 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 contact to the program director for details.