"WAFER-NOLOGY" the Terminology of Wafers

Dark Field Inspection -- Metrology Terminology.

A defect inspection technique that uses detectors that collect scattered light to make a DEFECT appear bright against a dark background. Typically used to find particles on wafers during interconnect fabrication. Compared with brightfield inspection.

Defects -- Very small voids in Silicon formed by agglomeration of vacancies.

DOF -- Depth of Field.

The technical definition of depth of field is the range of motion along the optical axis an object or specimen can move without impacting clarity of viewing. This means the depth of field is how much the object or specimen can move and still be clear. A microscope that has a thin depth of field will have to be continuously focused up and down to view a thick specimen.

DOF -- Depth of Focus.

Depth of focus is a lens optics concept that measures the tolerance of placement of the image plane (the film plane in a camera or microscope) in relation to the lens. In a camera, depth of focus indicates the tolerance of the film's displacement within the camera, and is therefore sometimes referred to as "lens-to-film tolerance." For microscopes the depth of focus is now used when talking only about the image side of depth. Technically speaking, the depth of focus of an optical microscope is the range of image plane position at which the image may be viewed without appearing out of focus for an object or specimen that does not move or change location during the viewing. This means that the depth of focus is how clearly your specimen or object appears to a human eye.

DIC -- Differential Interference Contrast

DIE --

In semiconductor manufacturing, the area of the silicon wafer on which a functional circuit is fabricated. Many hundreds of identical dies (alternative plurals are die and dice) are fabricated on each wafer.


An insulator. Also used more specifically to refer to an insulator that may be polarized by an applied electric field. Two dielectrics commonly used in semiconductor processing are silicon dioxide (SiO2) and silicon nitride (Si3N4).

DRAM -- Dynamic Random Access Memory

DSP -- Double Side Polished (for use in wafer description.

Doping or Dopant --

DUV -- DEEP Ultraviolet

The portion of the ultraviolet light spectrum with wavelengths below 300nm.

ECD -- ElectroChemical Deposition

A deposition process in which metals are removed from a chemical solution and deposited on a charged surface. Also referred to as electrochemical plating, electroplating, or electrodeposition.

EOT -- Equivalent Oxide Thickness

EPI -- Epitaxial/Epitaxy

ESF -- EPI Stack Fault -

ESF is the case in which a Si epitaxial layer is formed on a silicon crystal substrate into which phosphorus and germanium have been doped at a high concentration.

ESL -- Etch Stop Layer

A film layer used to restrict etch depth and protect underlying material. The ESL is chosen to be resistant to the etch chemistry being used.


A process for removing material in a specified area through a chemical reaction or physical bombardment. The process can be performed using liquid-phase (wet) etchants or under vacuum (dry) typically using a plasma to generate gas-phase reactants.

FAB -- Fabrication

Common name for a semiconductor fabrication plant, a factory used to manufacture integrated circuits.

FEOL -- Front-end-of-line (FEOL) processing

FEOL is the first portion of IC fabrication where the individual devices (transistors, capacitors, resistors, etc.) are patterned in the semiconductor. FEOL generally covers everything up to (but not including) the deposition of metal interconnect layers.

FOUP or FOSB -- Front Opening Unified Pod or Front Opening Shipping Box

A container with a stationary cassette with a front opening interface used with an automated materials handling system (AHMS). FOUPs were designed with the constraints of 300mm in mind. The use of FOUPs can reduce particle counts on wafers because the interior of the FOUP is isolated from the ambient fab environment. Each FOUP has various coupling plates, pins and holes to allow the FOUP to be located on a load port, and to be manipulated by the AMHS. The FOSB is a similar container to a FOUP, however its initial purpose was originally designed for shipping wafer to and from a FAB in a safe and controlled mannor.

FTIR -- Fourier Transfer Infrared spectroscopy

FZ -- Float Zone

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