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Seminar: Enabling nanoscale electronics fabrication with plasma science

October 24, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Dr. Steve Shannon
Professor of Nuclear Engineering
Department of Nuclear Engineering
North Carolina State University


The importance of plasma assisted material processing in the electronics industry cannot be understated.  Without the unique chemistry and directional energy deposition of low temperature plasmas, Moore’s law would have stalled decades ago, and I would be preparing this talk on a Commodore 64, reading it from a cathode ray tube monitor, and presenting my slides on overhead transparencies using a projector.  Instead, I am effortlessly preparing my talk from multiple devices linked together through a cloud service and eventually live streaming this presentation for the world to see.  My talk will be in full color, maybe with animations, and the analysis of the results presented will have been carried out on computers that were the stuff of dreams in the early 1990’s before plasma processing became main stream.  If the integrated circuit is the engine of the information age, plasma processing is the assembly line.  In fact, low temperature plasmas play a key role in almost one fourth of the hundreds of steps taken to fabricate microelectronic circuits.

The equipment for plasma assisted manufacturing has undergone an amazing evolution in its effort to keep up the pace of Moore’s law.  Chamber materials, gas precursors, power delivery, diagnostics, and control of these discharges have undergone significant development and refinement in order to keep up with manufacturing requirements.  In parallel, fundamental understanding of the heating and kinetics of these plasmas has led to impressive capability in the predictive modeling of both plasma and surface phenomena.  The result of these combined efforts are processes capable of fabricating features on the nanometer scale, and a knowledge base and tool set for the design of these systems that enable the rapid introduction of new technology in this fast paced industry.  In this talk, we will present some of the advances that have enabled the rapid pace of technology development that has come out of the NC State Nuclear Engineering program.


Steve Shannon is a professor of Nuclear Engineering at NC State specializing in industrial plasma processes.  He received his B.S.E., M.S.E. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and upon graduation in 1999 began work in Silicon Valley at Applied Materials Inc.  In 2008 he joined the faculty at NCSU where he started the 4th state applications research lab (4-STAR for short).  He currently has over 50 refereed journal articles and over 100 US and international patents in the area of plasma processing and plasma technology.

Thursday, October 24. 2019
3:45 pm refreshments; 4:00 pm seminar
Room 1202 Burlington Labs

***This seminar will be streamed live on our NCStateNuclear YouTube channel***


October 24, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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1202 Burlington Labs
2500 Stinson Drive
Raleigh, NC 27695-7909 United States
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