on-insulator (SOI) technology using separation by oxygen, separation by implantation of nitrogen, or separation by implantation of oxygen and nitrogen will permit the manufacture of semiconductor devices on a thin silicon film mechanically supported by a thin insulating substrate. Present technologies limit the thickness of the silicon wafer used for microchip manufacturing to more than 500 µm to avoid unwanted electrical coupling, but only the first few micrometers at the top of the wafer is used for most transistor fabrication. With the use of SOI technology, this limit can be dramatically reduced.
Implantation in industry can take many forms ranging from individual “job shops” to tool and component manufacturers to users with on-site implantation machines. As a result, it is important for NRL to consider how implantation technology can impact all three of these aspects.
NRL can use its expertise in high-energy beams and can build on its existing strengths in this area. It is important to consider how this expertise can be used to expand the applications; these should include IBED, which itself can be used for a much wider range of applications. The energy ranges of the NRL implantation systems should be extended to lower and higher energies. Optimization of the implantation process is extremely important for economic viability, that is, for the shortest possible processing time.
Current research on ion implantation has revealed a number of scientific and technical problems that can serve as examples of areas in which NRL can make a contribution. These areas include design of efficient pulse modulators for high power delivery, control of secondary emission, processes in plasma and sheath formation, computation of ion trajectories near complex boundaries, electric fields in implantation of dielectric materials, implantation of mixtures of ions, numerical simulation of surface kinetics, and implantation and doping of semiconductors.
It is of course not sufficient to understand the physical processes and demonstrate that the implantation can take place; an economic assessment is also required to show feasibility. It is important to concentrate on industrial applications that have a potential for commercialization. NRL should facilitate collaborative activities with ongoing implantation groups that are specifically oriented toward industrial applications.