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Manufacturing process technology for silicon solar cells


This course provides attendees with a basic working knowledge of optical thin-film metrology. An overview of electromagnetic waves, polarization and the optical properties of materials is first presented. Then the techniques of reflectometry and ellipsometry are described. This is followed by a discussion of the models that describe film dispersion and the development of a model film stack. It is shown how film thickness, index of refraction and extinction coefficient can be measured by reflectrometry and ellipsometry at a single wavelength, multiple wavelengths and multiple angles of incidence. The measurements involve the optimization of the parameters of the model film stack until the model spectra matches the measured spectra. Applications of these techniques to single layer, multi-layer and graded layer film stacks of importance in the semiconductor industry are  detailed. It is also shown how composition information can be inferred from the measurements. 

Learning Outcomes 

This course will enable you to:
  • Describe the optical properties of materials and the properties of electromagnetic waves utilized in thin film measurements 
  • Identify optical methods to measure film thickness, index of refraction, extinction coefficient, and composition
  • Explain the development of a model film stack and the adjustment of model parameters to match a measured spectra 
  • Compare the usefulness and limitations of the measurement techniques for specific applications in the semiconductor industry 

Intended Audience 

This material is intended for engineers and technicians working for semiconductor manufacturers or semiconductor equipment vendors. 

Course Level 


Course Length 

A half-day (3.5 hours) 


The instructor of this course is an expert in thin film metrology who has extensive experience in metrology and process development for four technology nodes in CMOS and flash applications. The instructor has a Ph.D. in solid state physics and 28 publications in surface science, semiconductor characterization and nanotechnology.