PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1427010 15.07.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001427010
Titel Verfahren zur Herstellung eines Halbleitersubstrates mit mindestens einem vergrabenen Hohlraum und mit dem Verfahren hergestelltes Bauteilen
Anmelder STMicroelectronics S.r.l., Agrate Brianza, Mailand/Milano, IT
Erfinder Renna, Crocifisso Marco Antonio, 93012 Gela (Caltanisetta), IT;
La Magna, Luigi, 95048 Scordia (Catania), IT;
Lorenti, Simona, 95129 Catania, IT;
Coffa, Salvatore, 95030 Tremestieri Etneo (Catania), IT
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 29.11.2002
EP-Aktenzeichen 024257420
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 09.06.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 15.07.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse H01L 21/764
IPC-Nebenklasse H01L 21/3063   H01L 21/762   H01L 29/06   B81B 1/00   B81C 1/00   B81B 3/00   

Beschreibung[en]
Field of application

The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate comprising at least a buried cavity.

More specifically, the invention relates to a method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate of a first concentration type comprising a buried insulating cavity.

The invention relates also to devices manufactured with the method according to the invention.

The invention relates particularly, but not exclusively, to a method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate comprising buried microchannels and the following description is made with reference to this field of application for convenience of illustration only.

Prior art

As it is well known, demands for a more and more growing circuit speed, affecting at present most electronic applications, particularly at radio frequency, and the need to produce chip integrated mechanical structures (MEMS Micro Electro-Mechanical System), make the use of SOI (Semiconductor On Insulator) substrates more and more frequent. In fact, most of the limitations of electronic circuit performances are due to the dispersion and parasite effects occurring between the integrated devices and the substrate.

A first prior art solution to insulate the semiconductor integrated electronic devices, provides the creation under said devices of highly doped wells called "buried" which form charge depletion areas in order to block the charge flow towards the substrate.

Although advantageous for many aspects, this first solution has several drawbacks. In fact, with the increase of circuit operating frequencies, this solution cannot meet the insulation requirements needed for the correct operation of the single devices.

As already mentioned, a second solution provides, on the contrary, the use of SOI substrates, whose structure is shown in figure 1.

In particular, a SOI structure comprises a first substrate 1 and a second substrate 2 insulated from each other by an oxide layer 3. Such a structure allows the first substrate 1, whereon all devices are integrated, to be electrically insulated from the second substrate 2.

It is evident that the dispersion currents between the first and second substrates are almost void and the parasitic capacitance effects are reduced, allowing therefore the integration of devices operating at higher cut off frequencies than the traditionally used frequencies.

As already said, SOI structures are considerably used also in MEMS and MOEMS (Micro Optical-Electro-Mechanical System) applications to form suspended structures, because it is possible to remove selectively the buried oxide layer since it is used as sacrificial layer.

Nevertheless, the formation of SOI structures is rather expensive and it affects heavily the calculation of the finished product final cost. Moreover these manufacturing processes are rather critical involving a great yield decrease, both because of structural defects and of the effectively usable area reduction.

The main process steps of a traditional SOI structure manufacturing process are now described.

A first and second substrates 1, 2 are superficially oxidised, so that the thickness of the oxide layer 3 thus obtained on the surface of the two substrates 1, 2 is about half the thickness of the final layer as shown in figure 2.

After performing a lapping step of the surfaces which will come into contact, the first and second substrates 1, 2 are initially aligned with micrometric precision, they are then put in surface contact. By means of a pressure exerted by a gravity body, in order to eliminate the air between the oxide layers 3 belonging to two substrates, a perfect adhesion is obtained, as shown in figure 3.

The first and second substrates 1, 2 are subjected to a thermal process at high temperature (1100÷1200°C) which allows the oxide layer 3 reflux and then the definite bonding of the two substrates (figure 4).

The SOI structure thus obtained is refaced superficially and lapped in order to obtain the surface ready for the integration of the electronic devices. The first substrate thickness is brought at the chosen value, which varies according to the applications used, as shown in figure 5.

Although the process can seem simple, the high cost of the single SOI structure is however due to the low yield. In fact, in order to make the SOI structure usable, the two substrate 1, 2 alignment must be practically perfect, the ideal would be to keep the crystallographic orientation both in the substrates and in the SOI structure.

Moreover the thermal processes create a series of stress phenomena which produce the so-called "Warp" effect. This effect causes a bending of the SOI structure because of a bending radius decrease by more than one order of magnitude. This "Warp" effect is even higher if the oxide layer of the SOI structure back is removed, which balances at least partially the "Warp" effect induced on the SOI structure by the oxide layer 3 on the first substrate 1. The removal of this oxide layer 3 is quite common in most devices having a back contact. In some SOI structures the bending is so high as to create problems in the photolithography both in the alignment step and in the focusing step. Moreover in some cases the "Warp" effect of the SOI structure does not allow the void system seal.

It is therefore expensive from the economic point of view to ensure SOI structures characterised by close tolerances both from the point of view of thickness, uniformity and "Warp" effect. Moreover the external circular oxide crown called "terrace" must be taken into consideration for each SOI structure, which reduces, by more than 1 cm, the diameter of the area effectively usable for the integration. Also this parameter negatively affects the wafer yield, greatly on small and middle-sized substrates (4, 5 and 6 inches), and in a more limited way on large-sized substrates ( 8 and 12 inches).

A second method to form higher quality substrates, but also more expensive, exploits the so-called SIMOX method, whose main steps are indicated herebelow.

With particular reference to figures 6 to 9, a semiconductor substrate 4 is shown, which is implanted with high-energy and high-dose oxygen ions. The implanted layer 5 which is formed is positioned at about 1 µm from the surface.

An annealing is then performed at extremely high temperature in an inert atmosphere for the diffusion of the implanted ions and the restoration of the crystalline characteristics of the semiconductor substrate upper layer 5 damaged by ion implantation, with subsequent extension of the area which will become the SOI structure oxide layer.

A further annealing step at extremely high temperature in an oxidising atmosphere is performed to realise the oxidation of the buried layer 5 and complete the SOI substrate structure oxide layer 5'.

The surface oxide layer 6 is then removed to complete the definite SOI structure.

Although the SIMOX method allows improved substrates to be obtained, from the physical-mechanical characteristic point of view, this process is, as already mentioned, rather expensive. Moreover limitations exist on the achievable thickness, in fact the oxide buried layer thickness does not exceed 500 nm, and the overall SOI structure does not exceed one micron.

If compared to the first method for manufacturing a SOI structure, this last method allows an improved thickness tolerance, a greater uniformity, the terrace absence and, thus, a larger exposable surface for the same wafer size, and finally the so-formed SOI structures are less affected by the "Warp" effect.

The technical problem underlying the present invention is to provide a structure comprising a low-cost buried insulation layer capable of providing good physical-mechanical characteristics and a wide thickness choice of the buried oxide layer and of the final structure, overcoming the limitations and drawbacks which still limit the SOI structures formed according to the prior art.

Summary of the invention

The solutive idea underlying the present invention is to provide a cavity in a semiconductor substrate starting from trench structures formed therein by exploiting the properties of the silicon self-organising surface migration process.

On the basis of this solutive idea the technical problem is solved by a method as previously described and defined in the characterising part of claim 18.

The problem is solved also by devices as previously described and defined in the characterising part of claims 1, 9, 13 and 14.

The features and advantages of the device according to the invention will be apparent from the following description of an embodiment thereof given by way of non-limiting example with reference to the attached drawings.

Brief description of the drawings

In the drawings:

  • Figures 1 to 5 are respective schematic section views of a semiconductor substrate portion during the following steps of a first method for manufacturing SOI structures according to the prior art;
  • Figures 6 to 9 are respective schematic section views of a semiconductor substrate portion during the following steps of a second method for manufacturing SOI structures according to the prior art;
  • Figures 10 to 16 are respective schematic views of a semiconductor substrate portion during the following steps of a method for manufacturing SOI structures according to the invention;
  • Figures 17a to 17f are respective schematic views of a trench formed in a semiconductor substrate during the following steps of a manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figures 18a to 18d are respective schematic views of a plurality of trenches formed in a semiconductor substrate during the following steps of a manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figures 19 and 20 are respective schematic views of a trench formed in a semiconductor substrate during the following steps of a manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figure 21 is a top view of a semiconductor substrate according to the invention;
  • Figure 22 shows, according to the depth L and the radius R of trenches formed in the substrate, the number of void spheres formed in the semiconductor layer in consequence of the silicon self-organising surface migration process;
  • Figures 23 and 24 show possible geometries of cavities which can be obtained from differently-located trenches;
  • Figure 25 shows a curve of the feature voltage current according to the semiconductor substrate doping concentration and type during the transformation step of the crystalline silicon into porous silicon;
  • Figures 26a to 26f are respective schematic views of a first embodiment of the manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figures 27a to 27g are respective schematic views of a second embodiment of the manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figures 28a to 28c are respective schematic views of a third embodiment of the manufacturing method according to the invention;
  • Figures 29a to 29e are respective schematic views of a first embodiment of the manufacturing method according to the invention.

Detailed description

With reference to the drawings, a method for manufacturing SOI structures according to the invention is now described.

In particular, as shown in figure 10, through a traditional photolithographic technique, several trenches 8 are formed on a semiconductor substrate 7.

The semiconductor substrate 7 is formed by a crystalline silicon wafer with any P-type crystallographic orientation, for example doped with acceptor ions with concentration comprised between 1E13 and 5E20 [cm-3] (P-, P, P+, P++ type etc.). In alternative, the semiconductor substrate 7 is doped with donor ions with concentration comprised for example between 1E13 and 5E20.

If the substrate 7 is of the N- type, an N+-type epitaxial layer is formed on the substrate 7. The so-formed epitaxial layer thickness can vary by several microns, according to the chosen application type.

In a first embodiment the trenches 8 are equally-spaced grooves formed in the substrate 7, for example, having a width comprised between 0.3 and 5 µm, while the depth is comprised between 1 and 40 µm, the distance between the two trenches 8 is comprised, instead, between 10 and 40 µm.

As shown in figure 12, after the trench 8 formation a semiconductor material layer 9 is formed on the substrate 7 surface. This semiconductor material layer 9 is formed in order not to completely close trenches 8, so as to create a planar surface layer.

This semiconductor material layer 9 is formed for example with epitaxy.

The semiconductor material layer 9 is of the same dopant type and with the same impurity concentration as the substrate 7 (relatively to the P-type substrate 7 case) or as the first epitaxial layer being formed (in the case of the N--type substrate). The thickness of this semiconductor material layer 9 is comprised for example between 1 and 10 µm.

In order to partially close trenches 8 the silicon self-organising surface migration process can be also exploited.

Particularly, cylindrically-developing trenches 10 are formed in the substrate 7, which have a diameter comprised, for example, between 0.2 and 2 µm and a depth comprised between 2 and 30 µm, as shown in figure 11.

It is however possible to form trenches 8 developing in parallel lines, as shown for example in figure 10.

After forming trenches 10 in the substrate, an annealing process is performed at high temperature, for example between 1000°C÷1300°C, in a non-oxidising environment, for example H2, for about some tens of minutes.

A structural rearrangement of atoms towards the lowest energy layers occurs in the substrate 7, so that the cylindrically-developing trench 10 turns into a spherical cavity 10a buried in correspondence with the surface-distal trench and forming a surface layer 7a on the cavities.

Particularly, the annealing thermal process changes the morphology of trenches 10 as shown in figures 17a to 17f.

This silicon self-organising surface migration process has also some advantages with respect to the traditional methods for manufacturing SOI structures, in fact it does not produce defects in the upper crystalline structure.

If very close trenches 10 are formed in the substrate 7, it is possible to form the structure shown in figures 18a to 18d wherein the cylindrically-developing trenches 10 turn at first into essentially skittle-shaped cavities to become afterwards spherical cavities 10a joining the adjacent cavities, forming thus a sole area or microchannel 10b.

Experimental tests carried out by the Applicant have shown that, with Rs indicating the radius of the depleted sphere 10a produced at the end of the annealing process by the trench 10 and RR indicating the radius of the starting trench 10, having cylindrical symmetry, it results: Rs = 1.88 RR

As shown in figure 19, if the trench 10 is very deep with respect to its width, the self-aggregation process forms different vertically-aligned spheres 10a, and λ being the distance between two spheres 10a formed inside the same trench 10, the result is that λ is equal to 8.89 RR, as shown in figure 20.

The number of depleted spheres 10a formed inside the semiconductor layer 7 is highlighted, depending on the depth L and the radius R of the trench 10, in the diagram of figure 22.

By changing the depth L of the trench 10, it is possible to determine the number and the radius of the depleted areas formed after the silicon self-organising surface migration process inside the single trench 10.

Advantageously, by forming the trenches 10 in such a way that the distance DNT between the centres of two consecutive trenches is equal to 2Rs = 3.76 RR, each depleted sphere 10a being formed can thus join the first sphere close thereto. In this way an infinite number of depleted spheres 10a can be connected obtaining several geometries as shown in figures 23 and 24. The quantity DNT is typical of the process as far as the microchannel 10 size and the thickness of the buried depleted layer are concerned, and it is linked to these parameters by the equation: Rp = (8.86RR3/DNT)S

Once the trench 8, 10 closing process is completed, through the deposition of the surface layer 9a or the annealing process, the SOI structure manufacturing process according to the invention continues however with the formation on the surface layer 7a, 9a of the semiconductor material layer 9 which forms the final SOI structure final substrate layer.

The type of doping and the concentration of this semiconductor material layer 9 are conveniently selected on the basis of the application.

If the starting substrate 7 is of the N- type, the N type epitaxial layer exists between this semiconductor material layer 9 and the microchannels.

As shown in figure 13, a series of trenches 11 being orthogonal to the first series of trenches 8 or microchannels 10b is formed in the semiconductor material layer 9. These trenches 11 are so deep as to intersect microchannels 10b.

The distance between these orthogonal trenches 11 depends on the size of the device, or of the circuit, which is to be integrated on the SOI structure (even several mms).

The structure thus obtained is subjected to a step of transforming of a layer 10c comprising microchannels 10b into a porous silicon layer. Particularly, the structure is subjected to a wet electroerosive process of the crystalline silicon in an hydrofluoric acid water solution. Therefore the layer 10c comprising microchannels 10b turns into a porous silicon layer 12.

The electrochemical process occurs in a cell wherein the crystalline silicon layer 10c is the positive electrode, while the cathode is a metallic electrode.

Particularly, once an operating voltage is set, porous silicon is not formed in the N- type layers, because it is as if a reverse-biased junction preventing the current flow was formed. Vice versa, in the P+, N+ and P-type substrate portion, with the same voltage, porous silicon is formed, since it is as if a directly biased junction allowing the current to flow is formed, closing the electric circuit being created. Nothing prevents to operate selectively between areas P+ and N+, it is simply enough to define correctly process parameters.

The diagram of figure 25 shows a curve of the characteristic voltage current depending on the doping concentration and type, which explains the selectivity phenomenon of the porous silicon formation process.

After the electrochemical etching, the structure obtained therefrom is the same as in figure 14 wherein the N+ type silicon layer 10c in which microchannels 10b are formed turns into a porous silicon layer 12.

The structure obtained comprises therefore, on a crystalline silicon substrate 7, a porous silicon layer 12 crossed by a series of equally-spaced microchannels 10b, whereon a semiconductor material layer 9 is formed on which it is possible to perform the integration of devices and circuits. The semiconductor material layer 9 is crossed by a series of trenches 11 being orthogonal to the microchannels 10b which, through their intersection, create a network of channels allowing the electrochemical solution to permeate during the electroerosion process, and the output of reaction products of the process for forming porous silicon. Afterwards the same channels 11 will serve to carry the gas required for the oxidation, or the thermal treatment of the porous silicon layer 12.

A scheme of the structure obtained seen from above is the one shown hereafter in figure 21.

As shown in figures 15 and 16, the structure thus obtained further is subjected to an oxidising process, for example in oven, and given the large surface provided by the porous silicon layer 12 (~500 m2/cm3), the reactivity thereof and the small size of the crystalline structures therein, the porous silicon layer 12 is totally oxidised in an extremely smaller time than the crystalline silicon typical oxidation rate, forming a dielectric layer 12a. Therefore, in the same time required to totally oxidise the porous silicon layer 12, on the surface of the oxide layer a very thin layer is formed.

After the oxidation step the filling of the surface trenches 11 is performed through a dielectric layer formation step, for example by depositing a TEOS (Tetra Ethyl Orthosilane) layer or a PVAPOX layer. The surface dielectric layer is then removed, respectively for the case of the N-type substrate as shown in figure 15 and of the P-type substrate as shown in figure 16. The so-filled trenches 11 are the device or circuit integration edges, i.e. the "scribe lines".

Several embodiments of the invention are now described.

In a first embodiment of the process according to the invention, as shown in figures 26a to 26f, on a substrate 7 through a traditional photolithographic technique are defined the geometries of trenches 10 to be formed.

Through an anisotropic removal some trenches 8 and 10 of predetermined size are opened.

An annealing step is performed at high temperature in an hydrogen environment so as to let the self-organising surface migration process occur, which, by planarising the substrate 7 surface, leaves the round-section channel 10b buried.

Nothing prevents that these trenches 8 are closed by a semiconductor material layer 9a formed on the substrate 7.

Once the "trench closing" is performed, a semiconductor material layer 9 is formed, as shown in figure 26c. This semiconductor material layer 9 is formed, for example, by epitaxial growth and with a dopant concentration being different from the substrate 7.

The semiconductor material layer 9 is formed in order to be selective during the porous layer formation. In alternative, a doped polysilicon layer is deposited, also in this case what has been said for the formation process selectivity due to the dopant type and quality is still valid.

Through a masking step and an etching process some trenches 11 are opened on the surface layer, which intercept the underlying microchannels 10b which will serve as channel input/output as shown in figure 26f.

As shown in figure 26e the so-formed structure is then put in an hydrofluoric acid water solution and by electrochemical etching the porous silicon layer 12 is formed locally around the microchannel 10b and isotropically.

Through a basic etching, at room temperature, the porous silicon layer 12 is selectively removed, leaving therefore a far wider microchannel 10d than the microchannel formed by the thermal process. It is however possible to form surface trenches 11 after forming the microchannel 10d.

This embodiment is particularly advantageous in the microfluid field. In fact, by exploiting the self-organising surface migration principle and the following porous silicon selective formation, buried microchannels for "lab on chip"-type applications are formed.

A second embodiment of the process according to the invention is shown in figures 27a to 27g. The geometries of trenches 8 and 10 to be formed are defined on a substrate 7 through a traditional photolithographic technique.

Through an anisotropic removing process some trenches 10 of predetermined size are opened.

An annealing step is performed at high temperature in an hydrogen environment so as to let the self-organising surface migration process occur, which, by planarising the substrate 7 surface, leaves a depleted portion of microchannel 10b buried, whose form will depend directly on the geometry defined by trenches 10, covered by a layer 7a or membrane, totally formed by defectless crystalline silicon.

Once the "trench thermal closing" is completed, if it is necessary to have a membrane being more than some microns thick, an epitaxial growth of a semiconductor material layer 9 can be performed without any problem in order to reach the desired thickness.

If a higher thickness, and thus volume, of the microchannel 10b cavity is required, it is necessary to grow epitaxially a further layer having a different doping with respect to the substrate 7 and being selective in the porous layer 12 formation. In alternative, a doped polysilicon deposition can be performed. At this point, after opening on the surface small trenches 11 connecting the cavity 10b with the surface, the porous silicon layer 12 is formed, through an anodising electrochemical process in an hydrofluoric acid solution. This porous silicon layer 12 is dissolved afterwards by a basic etching (KOH, NaOH, etc.).

The final structure is shown in figure 27e, wherein an extension of the microchannel 10d cavity, being controllable as one likes, can just be seen. Obviously, trenches 11 previously opened on the semiconductor material layer 9 surface can be closed through a localised deposition process or be an integral part of the membrane geometry as in the case of a microphone.

If a condenser microphone is to be formed as shown in figure 27f, after manufacturing the silicon membrane 7a, a metallization layer 13 is formed. This layer 12 is conveniently configured by means of traditional techniques. The metallization layer 13 is deposited on the membrane 7a, for example, by sputtering, and configured through a traditional photolithographic and etching technique. The metallization layer 13 is a first electric contact, while the second contact is the substrate 7 lower portion. In fact, since the substrate 7 is highly doped, it has excellent conductive features.

A second embodiment to obtain an integrated microphone is shown in figure 27g. This second embodiment provides a non-frontal communication port 7b of the microchannel 10b with the environment, i.e. from the membrane 7a itself, in the back side substrate 7, being obtained by forming a window 7c in the substrate 7 back side.

Figures 28a to 28c show a third embodiment of the method according to the invention. Particularly, a method for manufacturing a piezoresistive-type pressure sensor is described.

After defining the features to be possessed by a membrane, trenches 10 are defined on the substrate 7 by photolithography and anisotropic etching.

Afterwards, the annealing at high temperature is performed to form the buried microchannel 10b which will have the desired geometry previously defined.

After manufacturing the membrane 7a the thickening thereof or the microchannel 10b extension can be performed by forming a further layer. Finally a layer 14 of polysilicon or other material having piezoresistive features is deposited on the membrane and the geometries of the piezoresistors which will transduce the pressure variation signal into an easily-detectable electric signal are defined through photomasking and etching. A scheme of a pressure sensor structure is shown in figure 28c.

This third embodiment of the method according to the invention is thus particularly advantageous when manufacturing suspended structures, as in the case of microphones and pressure sensors, and generally in each device requiring a stiff membrane 7a.

Advantageously, the structure and geometry of the membrane 7a are formed with different features according to the pressure field to be undergone in the application in terms of rigidity, elasticity, thickness.

A fourth embodiment of the process according to the invention to manufacture a MOSFET transistor with buried channel (ISFET Ion sensivity FET) is now described.

Trenches 10 with predetermined size are formed on the silicon substrate 7. Figure 29a shows a series of cylindrically-developing trenches 10 being formed along two parallel lines.

Through a thermal process at high temperature in an hydrogen environment trenches are closed, in order to planarise the surface and leave a microchannel 10b buried.

Advantageously, through a selective formation and removal process of transformation of the silicon layer into a porous silicon layer 12, the extension step of the buried microchannel 10d is performed, as shown in figures 29c and 29d.

Advantageously, on the previously obtained structure, a semiconductor material layer 9 of the same type of material which will form the microchannel 10b is made to grow epitaxially.

Afterwards, drain and source regions 15 are formed in the substrate 7 or in the semiconductor material layer 9 if it is present. These drain and source regions are formed at the edges of the buried microchannel 10c being formed in the substrate 7.

A gate oxide layer and the MOSFET gate region 16 are then formed, as shown in figure 29d.

At this point the contacts of the MOSFET gate 16, drain and source 15 regions are formed conventionally.

The so-formed device will have, far from the electrode area, two large ports according to the application and the package type, which intercept the buried microchannel 10b 10d and serve as inlet/outlet, through which gases can go in and out, and the solutions which will be required to etch chemically the surface or which are to be monitored by the system.

Obviously the MOSFET manufactured with the method according to the invention will be biased in a static way by means of surface electric contacts in the transistor active area. The interaction with the solutions and molecules anchored to the inner surface of the buried microchannel 10b will produce a modulation of the MOSFET channel which, if detected, allows the chemical change of the fluids which are caused to flow in the buried microchannel 10b to be studied in real-time.

An application of an ISMOSFET transistor manufactured with the method according to the invention is for example the detection of the ADN anchorage for determining the genetic expression.

In fact ISFETs (Ion sensivity FET) manufactured with the method according to the invention are sensitive to the changes induced by the chemical bonds between the molecules and the surface of the buried microchannel 10b. This device allows, after a convenient calibration, PH, charge, molecular bond changes to be studied and detected.

In conclusion, the method according to the invention allows SOI structures to be manufactured, which are to be used in the manufacturing of fast electronic circuits having reduced costs which affect negligibly the product final price.

In fact these substrates are formed only by combining different techniques, such as wet etching of the silicon surfaces for trench definition, electrochemical etching of the crystalline silicon for porous silicon formation, exploitation of the selectivity with respect to the dopant type and quantity of the crystalline substrate of this etching, exploitation of the crystalline silicon surface self-organisation properties and, finally, epitaxial growths.

Therefore, according to the invention, devices are manufactured, which combine the crystalline silicon surface self-organisation technique with the following formation of a conductive layer, the selective formation of a porous silicon layer 12 around the cavity 10b and the following oxidation thereof, the whole through the already-formed buried cavities 10b (microchannels) allowing a porous silicon buried layer to be uniformly formed around the cavities 10b. Advantageously, layer 12 is oxidised. This layer 12 can be then removed with a very short etching time. The so-formed SOI substrates easily allow therefore traditional electronic devices to be integrated on the so-formed surface portion.


Anspruch[en]
  1. A SOI-type semiconductor substrate (7) comprising at least a buried insulating cavity (10b, 10d) formed according to the following steps:
    • form on said semiconductor substrate (7) a plurality of trenches (8, 10),
    • form a surface layer (7a, 9a) on said semiconductor substrate (7) in order to close superficially said plurality of trenches (8, 10) forming, in the meantime, said at least one cavity (10b) buried in correspondence with the surface-distal end of said trenches (8, 10);
    • form a first semiconductor material layer (9) on said surface layer (7a, 9a) with the same concentration as said semiconductor substrate (7) wherein at least a trench (11) is formed which is in communication with said at least one buried cavity (10b).
  2. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 1, characterised in that said surface layer (7a) is formed through an annealing step in a non-oxidising atmosphere on all said semiconductor substrate (7).
  3. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 1, characterised in that said surface layer (9a) is formed by means of a semiconductor material surface layer (9a) formed in the substrate (7).
  4. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 3, characterised in that said semiconductor material surface layer (9a) is formed on the substrate (7) through epitaxy.
  5. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 1, characterised in that said first semiconductor material layer (9) is formed through epitaxy.
  6. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 1, characterised in that portions of said semiconductor substrate (7) around said at least one buried cavity (10b) are of a porous silicon layer (12).
  7. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 5, characterised in that said porous silicon layer (12) is oxidised forming a dielectric layer (12a) between said surface layer (7a, 9a) and a lower semiconductor substrate (7) portion.
  8. A semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 7, characterised in that said porous silicon layer (12) is removed to form a second buried cavity (10d) of a wider width than said at least one starting buried cavity (10b).
  9. A suspended membrane formed on a semiconductor substrate (7) of a first type of concentration and comprising at least a buried insulating cavity (10b, 10d) formed through the following steps:
    • form on said semiconductor substrate (7) a plurality of trenches (8, 10),
    • perform an annealing step in a non-oxidising atmosphere on all said semiconductor substrate (7) up to form a surface layer (7a) on said semiconductor substrate (7) in order to close superficially said plurality of trenches (8, 10) forming in the meantime said at least one buried cavity (10b) in correspondence with the surface-distal end of said trenches (8, 10), said surface layer (7a) forming said membrane.
  10. A suspended membrane formed on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 9, characterised in that a first semiconductor material layer (9) is formed on said surface layer (7a) with different concentration with respect to said semiconductor substrate (7).
  11. A suspended membrane formed on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 10, characterised in that said first layer (9) is an epitaxial layer.
  12. A suspended membrane formed on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 11, characterised in that a portion of said semiconductor substrate (7) located in correspondence with said at least one buried cavity (10b) is a porous silicon layer (12).
  13. A microphone integrated on a semiconductor substrate (7),characterised in that it comprises a membrane formed according to any of the claims 9 to 12.
  14. A MOSFET transistor integrated on a semiconductor substrate (7) of a first type of concentration and comprising at least one buried insulating cavity (10b, 10d) formed through the following steps:
    • form on said semiconductor substrate (7) a plurality of trenches (8, 10),
    • perform an annealing step in a non-oxidising atmosphere on all said semiconductor substrate (7) up to form a surface layer (7a) on said semiconductor substrate (7) in order to close superficially said plurality of trenches (8, 10) forming in the meantime said at least one buried cavity (10b) in correspondence with the surface-distal end of said trenches (8, 10), said at least one buried insulating cavity (10b, 10d) forming at least part of the channel region of said MOSFET transistor.
  15. A MOSFET transistor integrated on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 14, characterised in that a first layer (9) is formed on said surface layer (7a) with the same concentration of said semiconductor substrate (7).
  16. A MOSFET transistor integrated on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 15, characterised in that said first layer (9) is formed through epitaxy.
  17. A MOSFET transistor integrated on a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 14, characterised in that a portion of said semiconductor substrate (7) located in correspondence with said at least one buried cavity (10b) is a porous silicon layer (12).
  18. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) of a first type of concentration and comprising at least one buried insulating cavity (10b, 10d), comprising the following steps:
    • form on said semiconductor substrate (7) a plurality of trenches (8, 10),
    • form a surface layer (7a, 9a) on said semiconductor substrate (7) in order to superficially close said plurality of trenches (8, 10) forming in the meantime said at least one buried cavity (10b) in correspondence with the surface-distal end of said trenches (8, 10).
  19. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said surface layer (7a) is formed through an annealing step in a non-oxidising atmosphere on all said semiconductor substrate (7).
  20. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said surface layer (9a) is formed through a semiconductor material surface layer (9a) formed on the substrate (7).
  21. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said semiconductor material surface layer (9a) is formed on the substrate (7) through epitaxy.
  22. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that it comprises the following steps:
    • form a first layer (9) on said surface layer (7a) having the same concentration as said semiconductor substrate (7).
  23. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 20, characterised in that at least one trench (11) being in communication with said at least one buried cavity (10b) is formed in said first layer (9).
  24. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said semiconductor substrate (7) is subjected to an electroerosive process to turn a portion of said semiconductor substrate (7) located in correspondence with said at least one buried cavity (10b) into a porous silicon layer (12).
  25. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said porous silicon layer (12) is subjected to an oxidising process to form a dielectric layer between said surface layer (7a) and a semiconductor substrate (7) lower portion.
  26. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 24, characterised in that said porous silicon layer (12) is removed to form a second buried cavity (10d) with a wider width than said at least one starting buried cavity (10b).
  27. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said plurality of trenches (9) is formed by grooves being parallel to each other in the substrate (7).
  28. A method for manufacturing a semiconductor substrate (7) according to claim 18, characterised in that said plurality of trenches (10) are formed by cylindrically-developing openings in the substrate (7).






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