Within the past decade, process simulation has become an essential part of new technology development in the silicon IC industry. The use of TCAD (technology computer aided design) tools has been driven by the enormous cost of purely experimental approaches to technology development. Yet the power of these tools and their predictive capability are still greatly limited by the models they use. TCAD models for doping processes are universally based today on point defects. These models have evolved considerably in the past decade to incorporate additional understanding. The state-of-the-art today includes concentration dependent diffusion through Fermi level effects on defect concentrations, full coupling between defects and dopants which allows prediction of non-local diffusion effects, basic models for the effects of ion implantation damage (the +1 model), surface and interface effects (through effective recombination velocities and segregation), and full 2D and 3D simulations.
As devices continue to shrink, better models will certainly be required. Challenges for the future include more detailed information about damage resulting from ion implantation, better understanding of point defect properties (equilibrium populations, diffusivities, transient response to temperatures changes), better models for point defect behavior at interfaces, and finally, development of accurate methods to actually measure 2D and 3D dopant profiles. This paper will attempt to describe where we are and where we need to be in the future.