Year 12 Student Writing Complex Plasma Essay

Ronald Choi, a Year 12 student from Prince Alfred College in South Australia, have written an essay titled:

"How to solve the 90 nm technological limit in the semiconductor chip industry? What are the possible ways to remove dust contamination from plasma processing?"

as part of his Physics/Information Search essay. CPL spent three weeks of time to build up Ronald's understanding using basic Year 12 physics in semiconductor, plasma, and dusty plasma. He just handed up his essay yesterday.


CPL was privileged to interview this talented Year 12 student online via MSN Messenger.

Felix: F

Ronald: R

F: Tell me Ronald, how did you get the idea of writing an essay on dusty plasma? And how did you come across our website?

R: Well, as part of the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA) requirement, all Year 12 students doing Physics in South Australia must write an essay on a Physics topic requiring us to do some information research from books or internet. Most of my classmates chose topics such as printers, lasers, golf balls, LCD monitors, etc. At first, I chose to do semiconductor chip for my essay topic. After doing some quick Google search on "semiconductor chips", I accidentally came across your website. I wanted to do something different to my classmates, so I took the courage to write to you guys and asked if you can give me some information for my essay.

F: What were some of the challenges you find in your information search in dusty plasma?

R: The biggest challenge for me was to search for information on dusty plasma due to my absence of knowledge in plasma physics. I kept on searching for websites with information using Google, but there were just not enough information especially at my year level. I really didn't have a clue at first. Fortunately, the CPL website gave me a easier starting point to search for what I needed at the end.

F: So did you manage to find enough information at the end?

R: Since my essay revolved around the topic of semiconductor chips, my search began from there. There were a number of useful websites relavant to this topic. Some talked about dust contaminations, some didnt't Eventually, my knowledge expanded after searching the infomation for a long period and I began to get a grasp on the relationship between semiconductor chip, dust, and plasma. I had real difficulties in understanding the connections between these three things at the beginning. Luckily you guys gave me alot of hints and helps which allowed me to find many relavant resource at the end.

F: What type of Physics knowledge do you think you have gained from this whole exercise?

R: Mmm.. I 've learnt about electromagnetic radiaton, photons, atomic structures, semiconductors, silicon, atomic spectroscopy, and of course plasma. Now I also know how dust particles get charged in plasma and form hexagonal shapes. Oooh, and I know what a plasma chamber is now.

F: We are looking forward to hear your results of your essay once they've been marked. And we hope we can publish your essay on our website as soon as you get your results.

R: I hope I do well in this essay. I've spent alot of effort and time on this essay. And once again, thank you for giving me so much information during my information search.


Felix Cheung


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