One of the world’s leading SOI experts considers Smart Cut innovations and future potential.
I remember a meeting with a PhD student, over ten years ago. He was supposed to work on SIMOX material: at that time, a perfect topic in a perfect SIMOX group with Michel Bruel, André Auberton and Jean-Michel Lamure around. Oddly, this brilliant student enthusiastically tried to convince me that wafer bonding was a more suitable SOI technology. What I didn’t yet know was that the top SIMOX experts – Michel, André and Jean-Michel – were just then discovering the miracle of Smart Cut technology. By the time the PhD was redesigned and defended, Soitec had introduced Smart Cut technology and UNIBOND™ wafers to the marketplace.
Ten years later, Smart Cut has overwhelmed not only the market but also many dissertations and conference proceedings. SIMOX is barely on life support. The most fascinating application of Smart Cut is the material transformation: from SOI (silicon on SiO 2 ) to SOI (semiconductor on insulator). Replacing the conventional silicon film by strained Si, SiGe, Ge, GaN, SiC, and so forth, opens revolutionary applications in microelectronics, nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. Additionally, the buried oxide can be substituted by a whole range of dielectrics. Quartz, glass and diamond are envisioned for transparent devices and MEMS. Buried alumina or aluminium nitride is expected to solve the problem of power dissipation in ultra-dense VLSI chips. We won’t need another decade to find these innovative Smart Cut enabled materials in the catalogue.
Dr. Cristoloveanu’s SOI video tutorial
can be found in the Download section at