Silicon Nitride in Silicon Photonics


What is Silicon nitride?

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is biocompatible and stable in vivo, and these properties, when combined with its superior mechanical properties, make Si3N4 an attractive ceramic implant material in some healthcare applications, particularly in orthopedic surgery. Si3N4 is used in spinal fusion surgery, is under development for use as bearings in joint replacement, and is being considered for use as dental implants. While Si3N4 implants are currently created using conventional ceramic processing techniques, additive manufacturing provides the capacity to create custom implants with the required anatomical shape, precise dimensions, and well-controlled microstructure. Si3N4 can be created with a smooth or microrough surface topography, and its surface chemistry can be varied from a silica-rich to a predominantly silicon-amine composition, which can influence the response of cells, tissues, and bacteria in vivo. Si3N4 implants have shown attractive osseointegration and antimicrobial activity in vivo, while Si3N4 bearings have shown low wear rates when articulating against itself or against polyethylene. The objective of this article is to review recent developments in the design, processing, and evaluation of Si3N4 implants for healthcare applications.


Structural properties of amorphous silicon nitride

We developed an empirical potential for interactions between Si and N to describe silicon nitride systems using the Tersoff functional form. The fitting parameters were found using a set of ab initio and experimental results of the crystalline phase. Using this empirical model, we explored the structural properties of amorphous silicon nitride through Monte Carlo simulations, and compared them to available experimental data. A detailed investigation of the growth mechanism of ultra-thin silicon nitride (Si3N4) films on Si(111) substrates, their structure, morphology and surface chemistry down to atomic scale have been investigated using various surface analytical techniques such as low energy electron diffraction (LEED), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and ESCA microscopy. A radio frequency N2 plasma source from Epi Uni-bulb has been used for the nitridation of atomically clean Si(111) surfaces. The substrate temperatures during the nitridation process were ranging from 600–1050°C and the plasma exposure times were varied from 5 s for initial nucleation up to 45 min for saturation thickness. The initial stage of N nucleation on Si(111), how the structure and morphology of the nitride films depend on thickness and temperature, surface atomic reconstructions and the nitride film chemical composition are discussed here. All findings are explained in terms of thermally activated inter-diffusion of Si and N atoms as well as the surface adatom diffusion/mobility.


Silicon Nitride in Integrated Circuit (IC) Technology

Advanced processing of integrated circuits in bipolar and MOS technology becomes more and more identical. The design even merges both types of elements (BiMOS technique) making use of the inherent advantages of both the bipolar and MIS techniques. Silicon nitride masks are used for selective oxidation in IC fabrication including bipolar and FET devices, i.e. at least one bipolar transistor and at least one insulated-gate FET; for their use in deposition and patterning of polycrystalline Si, see. See also for use as dielectric, n-p-n bipolar transistors and n-channel MOS transistors are prepared in the BiMOS IC technique using nitride masks for selective oxidation to form the field oxide and for implanting boron ions to form the base region. The current transport (holes or electrons) in such MNOS structures with complementary, tunneling emitter, bipolar transistors has been studied.


Price of Silicon nitride

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