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I am currently working in the silicon microelectronics processing laboratory of Queen's University (NISRC), with responsibilities for research and development of high vacuum based processes. Recent projects include high dose ion implantation of hydrogen and helium for 'smart-cut' processes for buried silicide devices, the development of PVD and CVD equipment and processes for copper and SiGe, and process control of diffusion barrier films using optical emission spectroscopy.

Magnetron sputtering plays an important role in high purity low resistivity metals deposition in NISRC. Process development is ongoing to seek constantly to improve film properties for the new generations of microcircuits. Here we develop these processes and train students to use equipment and develop their own research potential.

Magnetron sputtering has been successfully used for silicides where it is essential to minimise the uptake of oxygen and other impurities during sputtering of tungsten that are subsequently converted to silicide by annealing. Special measures are taken to prevent impurities being adsorbed at the tungsten/silicon interface.

Using an electromagnet to saturate a magnetic target, high rate sputtering of magnetic materials and control over film properties was achieved by varying the magnetic field together with rf substrate bias. Design of the magnetic path was critical to success.

One of the most recent projects involves equipment and process development for a UHV cluster tool designed for two or more different CVD processes with a built-on SIMS analysis facility. This is a complex equipment with a research team co-operating in multi-function operation.


Selected Papers

F H Ruddell, M F Bain, S Suder, R E Hurley, B M Armstrong, V F Fusco, H S Gamble, " Fabrication of sub-micron active layer SSOI substrates using ion splitting and wafer bonding technologies," ECS Conference, Paris, 2003.

R E Hurley and H S Gamble, "Some current issues in the use and application of ionised plasma for silicon semiconductor processing research," Vacuum, 63 (2001) pp. 627-39

R E Hurley, M B Armstrong and H S Gamble, "Silicon on Insulator (SOI), and silicon on silicide on insulator (SSOI) with 'smart-cut' technology for device applications research," Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Proc. 2nd workshop BAS, Nov 2000, Sofia, Heron Press Ltd, Sofia 2001, pp. 9-11

V S C Len, R E Hurley, N McCusker, D W McNeill, B M Armstrong, H S Gamble, 'An investigation into the performance of diffusion barrier materials against copper diffusion using metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitor structures', Solid-State Electronics, 43 (1999) pp. 1045-9

R E Hurley and H S Gamble, 'Some recent advances in silicon microtechnology and their dependence on processing technique', Vacuum, 46-3 (1995) pp. 287-93

M S Araghi, R E Hurley, H S Gamble, P M Dodd and R Atkinson, 'Effects of plasma and bias power on magnetic properties of sendust films,' J. Appl. Phys. 83-11 (1998)
pp. 6670-72

R E Hurley and S A Wilkes, 'The ion plating of polyvinylidene fluoride surfaces for transducer elements,' Thin Solid Films, 80 (1981) pp. 93-103

R E Hurley and P J Dooley, 'Electroluminescence produced by high electric fields at the surface of copper cathodes,' J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 10 (1977) pp. L195-L201

R E Hurley, 'Electrical phenomena occurring at the surface of electrically stressed metal cathodes. II . Identification of electroluminescent (k-spot) radiation with electron emission on broad area cathodes,' J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 12 (1979) pp. 2247-52

R E Hurley, 'Low energy duo-PIG-atron source with an auxiliary gas feed,' Nucl. Instrum. Meth. 118 (1973) pp. 555-60

R E Hurley and T M Parnell, 'Field emission from metal particles in a vacuum gap,' Brit. J. Appl. Phys. (J. Phys. D), 2-6 (1969) pp. 881-8

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