RELIABILITY PHYSICS STUDIES ON TRANSISTORS.
Quarterly status rept. no. 1, Dec 64-Feb 65,
SHOCKLEY LAB ITT SEMICONDUCTOR PALO ALTO CALIF
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The report deals with failure mechanisms in silicon semiconductors. Investigations were made of surface breakdown phenomena in oxide protected silicon devices. The surface breakdown voltage of a diode can be altered by external illumination or by carriers moving in surface channels. The fact that a small photocurrent controls an avalanche current which is several orders of magnitude larger has been studied in three respects The effect of the illumination itself, both with and without an additional gate around the diode under consideration, the effect of an adjacent diode located at a certain distance from the diode under study, with and without gate, and the effect of surface ion drift, again with and without gate. Further investigations are made of the second breakdown phenomenon in silicon power transistors. Diode structures have been used to observe the appearance of hot spots. Plasma breakdown in relatively large areas has been observed. The high temperature associated with the plasma was able to seriously damage the aluminum evaporated for contacting the diodes.