All tracks begin with intensive summer course work in the area of study. To complete the master's degree, students in this track will also need to complete 30 internship credits and an additional 8 credits of course work. An overview of credits and requirements can be found on the Overview page of this website.

The goal of the Photovoltaic and Semiconductor Device Processing program is to introduce chemists, physicists and engineers to the fundamental concepts used in electronic device design and fabrication processes. Specifically, we aim to instill an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of different modern semiconductor technologies, unveil the chemistry and processes behind the "recipes" used in chip fabrication, examine the increasing role of photovoltaic semiconductor devices in solar energy utilization, and introduce the challenges that are currently faced in the industrial setting.

Students in this MS program typically have bachelor degrees in chemical or electrical engineering, physics or chemistry.

Overview of summer course work:

This program teaches the materials (chemistry), device physics and processing necessary to build electronic and microelectronic devices. The summer begins with an intensive overview of important concepts and terminology needed to understand the basic properties of semiconducting materials and apply these to the design and operation of semiconductor devices. While we will discuss a wide range of such devices, strong emphasis will be given to field-effect transistors (particularly MOSFETs) and opto-electronic devices (particularly solar cells). As a student in this program, you will not only become familiar with the important concepts issues in MOSFET and solar cell-based technologies, you will actually fabricate examples of these devices and carry out measurements to evaluate their operation.

The summer course work is also designed to teach you to problem-solve and work in teams to mimic the industrial setting as closely as possible. For example, early on we will hand you a silicon wafer and by the last day we will expect you to have a fully characterized a working solar cell and logic circuit. The difference between this and a conventional course is that we don't tell you how to do that. We give you the theory behind it, but it's up to you to research the problem and optimize the solutions you and your teammates come up with.

Most days will include both lecture and lab: hands-on all summer long. As an undergraduate, most students do not have an opportunity to solve undefined problems because there isn't time to fail in a three-hour lab period. Our labs are always open, so we can allow you the luxury to follow your instincts - even when they're wrong - and learn from your mistakes. Based on what you learn, you can optimize and re-evaluate where you are and move forward. This is a very realistic way to learn.

Students from chemistry, physics and engineering all have something to contribute to the group regardless of background. For example, if you're an engineer, you'll be comfortable during the integration and processing portion of the course, but less comfortable with the materials chemistry. If you're a physicist, you'll enjoy the device physics, but struggle at other times. Because the success of the individual depends on the success of the group, much as it does in industry, students can learn from and mentor each other through the processes they're less familiar with. This diversity of backgrounds allows different students to take a leadership role at various points in the problem-solving process.

Summer Courses:
Semiconductor Processing and Characterization Techniques
Semiconductor Device Physics
Device Processing and Characterization Lab

Topics Covered Summer Term:

Semiconductor Processing and Characterization Techniques

• Design of Experiments

• Oxidation

• Silicon single crystal growth

• Vacuum Technology

• Chemical Vapor Deposition

• Thin Films

• Diffusion, Defects and Impurities

• Ion Implantation

• Contamination Control

• Lithography

• Etch

• Chemical Mechanical Polishing

Basic Semiconductor Physics

• Crystal lattices, Lattice planes

• Band theory and electronic structures

• Carrier statistics, carrier transport, recombination

• Interaction with light

• The p-n junction

• MOS capacitor

• The bipolar transistor

• Schottky contacts; CV profiling

• The MOS diode


Physics of Solar Cells

• Basic structures

• Solar radiation

• Efficiency and other cell parameters

• Limitations

Electrical Characterization of Semiconductor and Photovoltaic Devices

• 4-point and 2 point probe resistivity

• Current - voltage

• Capacitance - voltage

• Quantum efficiency

• Transistor curves

• Power conversion efficiency

Device Processing and Characterization Lab

• Schottky Diode - Fabrication and characterization of Au-on-silicon Schottky diodes utilizing shadow evaporation technique onto lightly doped silicon wafers. Techniques include metallization and semiconductor device parameter characterization using a modern semiconductor parameter analyzer.

• MOS Capacitor - Fabrication and characterization of MOS capacitors, a fundamental building block of MOS-based VLSI technology. Techniques include formation of gate oxides, photolithography, and capacitance-voltage characterization of a MOS device.

• p-n Junction Photovoltaic - Devices are formed by dopant diffusion into silicon substrate. Emphasis is placed on the understanding dopant diffusion, the role of p-n junctions photovoltaics, the characterization of photovoltaics and the factors that affect their efficiency.

• MOSFET - Fabrication and characterization of a working p-MOS transistor. Multi-step processing necessary to produce the devices and electrically characterize them.

Laboratory Projects

The philosophy of the Semiconductor and PV internship program embraces a self-starting, hands-on, team oriented approach to microelectronics and photovoltaics. Students gain real-world experience as they research, design, process, optimize and test a series of devices.

The demanding schedule places a premium on the student’s ability to fully engage themselves, requiring them to effectively manage their time, communicate clearly with faculty and peers, work in teams and be proficient in problem solving and processing techniques.

Text and Reference Books:
Silicon Processing for the VLSI Era: Volume 1 Process Technology; S. Wolf; R.N. Tauber

Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology; S.M. Sze

Semiconductor Device Processing Laboratory Manual

The Physics of Solar Cells; Jenny Nelson


Benjamín Alemán, B.A. University of Oregon, 2005.  Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 2011 (Alex Zettl).  Postdoctoral:  UC Santa Barbara, 2011-2013 (David Awschalom and Andrew Cleland).  Honors and Awards:  McNair Scholar (2004-2005), Phi Beta Kappa, UC Berkeley A.J. Macchi Fellow (2009-2011), University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013).  At Oregon since 2013.

James Hutchison, B.S., University of Oregon, 1986. Ph.D., Stanford University, 1991 (James P. Collman). Postdoctoral: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992–94 (Royce W. Murray). Honors and Awards: Phi Beta Kappa; Franklin Veatch Fellowship, Stanford 1987–89; Centennial Teaching Assistant Award, Stanford, 1990; NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, 1992–94; Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 1994; NSF CAREER Award, 1997; Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 1999; Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, 1999; Oregon Academy of Science Outstanding Teacher of Science and Mathematics in Higher Education, 2003, University of Oregon Fund for Faculty Members Excellence Award, 2006. Lokey-Harrington Chair in Chemistry, 2008. At Oregon since 1994.

Shannon Boettcher, B.A., University of Oregon, 2003. Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara (Galen D. Stucky). Postdoctoral, California Institute of Technology (Nathan S. Lewis and Harry A. Atwater). Honors and Awards: Barry M. Goldwater Scholar (2001-2003), NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2003-2006), UC Chancellors Fellow (2007), Kavli Nanoscience Institute Prize Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2009). Dupont Young Professor (2011). At Oregon since 2010.

Mark Lonergan, UO Department of Chemistry: B.S., University of Oregon, 1990. Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1994 (Duward F. Shriver and Mark A. Ratner). Postdoctoral: California Institute of Technology, 1994–96 (Nathan S. Lewis). At Oregon since 1996.

George Nazin, M.S. (Physics), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1999 (Yu. E. Lozovik). Ph.D. (Chemistry), UC Irvine, 2007 (Wilson Ho). Postdoctoral: Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2007-2010 (Peter W. Sutter). Honors and Awards: Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2008; E.K.C. Lee Award, UC Irvine, 2005; Chancellor's award for academic excellence, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1999.

Fuding Lin, B.S.(Physics), Xiamen University, 1997. Ph.D.(Physics), University of Oregon, 2009(Mark Lonergan). Postdoctoral, University of Oregon, 2011-present(Shannon Boettcher).