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 semiconductor devices in light – electricity inter-conversion through solar cells and LEDs – 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 in MOSFET and pn- junction-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 MOSFET. The difference between this and a conventional course is that we don't give you detailed instructions. 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. In our curriculum we built in sufficient lab time 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 Device Physics
Introduction to Processing and Characterization Lab
Semiconductor Processing and Characterization Techniques
Device Processing and Characterization Lab

Topics Covered Summer Term:

Semiconductor Processing and Characterization Techniques

Silicon single crystal growth

Oxide growth

Thin Films deposition and characterization

Defects and Impurities

Diffusion and Ion Implantation

Contamination Control


Dry/Wet Etch

Chemical Mechanical Polishing

Design of Experiments

Basic Semiconductor Physics

Crystal lattices, Lattice planes

Band theory and electronic structures

Carrier statistics, carrier transport, recombination

Interaction with light

MOS capacitor

Schottky contacts; CV profiling

The p-n junction

The bipolar junction transistor

Physics of Solar Cells

Basic structures

Solar radiation

Efficiency and other cell parameters


Electrical Characterization of Semiconductor and Photovoltaic Devices

Basic structures

Solar radiation

Efficiency and other cell parameters


Device Processing and Characterization Lab

Schottky Diode - Fabrication and characterization of Metal -on-silicon Schottky diodes utilizing thermal evaporation technique onto doped silicon wafers. Techniques include thin film deposition and semiconductor device parameter characterization using modern instruments.

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 of dopant diffusion, the role of p-n junction in photovoltaics, the characterization of photovoltaics and the factors that affect their efficiency.

MOSFET - Fabrication and characterization of a working n -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 learn problem solving in the microelectronic and photovoltaic industry. 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

Physics of Solar Cells: From Basic Principles to Advanced Concepts, 2nd edition; Peter Würfel

Semiconductor Device Processing Laboratory Manual


Fuding Lin, B.S.(Physics), Xiamen University, 1997. Ph.D.(Physics), University of Oregon, 2009(Mark Lonergan). Postdoctoral, University of Oregon, 2011- 2015(Shannon Boettcher).

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.

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.