MSE M.Eng. Spotlight: Laura Ma

Laura Ma

Laura Ma is currently an M.Eng. student working on her project titled "Dielectric Thin Film Fabrication by Plasma Enhanced ChemicalVapor Deposition (PECVD) and Plasma Etching" being sponsored by Applied Materials Inc.

Project Description: 

In the semiconductor industry, electrically insulating coatings are commonly called dielectric thin films. Dielectric thin films play many important roles in chip fabrication, such as diffusion barrier layers, antireflective coating layers (ARC) and circuit passivation layers etc.

Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is a typical method to prepare dielectric thin films. The PECVD process consumes silicon and oxygen from gases, enables surface adsorption and chemical reactions of precursors molecules, and forms dielectric thin film on silicon fins.

In this project, a-Si, SiN, and SiO2 PECVD processes for new applications that will enable future advanced nodes were developed. The deposited thin film demonstrated good uniformity with desired step coverage on silicon fins. High repeatability was achieved by good process control. Film qualities were shown to be consistent with benchmark materials. In addition, a plasma etching process of dielectric materials was developed with high anisotropy, high repeatability and desirable etch rate.

How did you decide on your project?

I decided on my project because I am really interested in the semiconductor industry. And I would like to have a one-year internship between semesters before graduation to get more understanding in this area.

What stands out most about your M.Eng./Cornell experience?

The leadership training courses by our director Professor Alexander Deyhim are really helpful on job research. And the internship at corporations and school projects are great opportunities for students to develop academic and research expertise.


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