Materials Exotica in the Semiconductor Industry

Dr. Terry Gilton
Micron Technology
Boise State University, adjunct faculty

The semiconductor industry began by using materials composed of the most common elements in Earth's crust.  The evolution of the industry has continued at a high pace since the transistor was invented, but in order to maintain this pace, newer and more exotic materials have been brought into the manufacturing lines. Not only are exotic materials showing up as additions to standard silicon processing, there are new and revolutionary technologies that threaten to disrupt the seemingly smooth flow of semiconductor process innovation. I provide a historical perspective on the use of more and more exotic materials in the manufacture of computer memory products as well as a survey of the exotic and sometimes bizarre materials systems being investigated for the future.