Materials Science and Engineering

Semiconductor interfaces

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We discussed several promising subfields of semiconductor interface research whose accelerated development would benefit basic adhesion research. Significant advances in basic adhesion science would be produced by concentrated support in these subfields. Such concentrated support would also be consistent with the general development trends observed in semiconductor interface research. In the near future, the development of new experimental techniques for interface research will emphasize time resolution and atomic-scale space resolution. This trend is present for a whole array of probes of the electronic, chemical and atomic structure. We have seen in Sections 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 that time resolution and atomic-scale space resolution would have a strong impact on basic adhesion research. Another trend is the application of already developed sophisticated probes to new problems, as discussed in Section 2.1. On the theoretical side, the success of the local density formalism stimulates the development of new implementation methods for all types of interface problem, including those most directly related to basic adhesion. Interface research increasingly concentrates on "realistic" systems and on problems with practical as well as fundamental impact. The work on contacts exposed to a high temperature and a corrosive environment (Section 3.1) is a good example of this trend. Other good examples are the application of novel theoretical techniques to the study of interfaces, grain boundaries and defects, and the development of an expanded base of thermodynamic data (Sections 3.6 and 3.7). The possibility of practical applications is also an important factor in determining the systems and processing techniques of highest interest in semiconductor interface research. Many of these systems and processing techniques are also interesting in basic adhesion research, as discussed in Sections 3.2-3.5. Such is the case of novel applications of MBE, of ion beam processing and of plasma processing. Another general example is the growing importance of systems based on interfaces between two different semiconductors, e.g. heterojunctions, superlattices and bond-strained overlayers. In conclusion, there is harmony between general trends in semiconductor interface research and the specific needs of its subfields with direct links to basic adhesion research. These subfields can be targeted for concentrated support without disrupting and in fact helping the general development of semiconductor interface research. © 1986.