Monica Titus
Monica J. Titus, Ph.D.
Senior Associate
Materials & Corrosion Engineering
  • Menlo Park

Dr. Titus trained as a chemical engineer with emphasis on plasma physics and plasma-surface interactions. With her tenure in the semiconductor industry and extensive research experience, Dr. Titus has expertise that spans the areas of:

  • Integrated circuit fabrication, thin film processing and characterization, plasma characterization, and ultra-high vacuum chamber design
  • Etch hardware and software product delivery, ramp to high-volume manufacturing
  • Soil segmentation and waste combustion analysis
  • Diagnostic and metrology techniques: atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, optical emission spectroscopy, vacuum ultraviolet optical emission microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Langmuir probe, inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, graphite furnace atomic absorption mass spectroscopy, ion mass spectroscopy, and quartz crystal microbalance.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Titus was a Senior Staff Process Engineer and Customer Technology Manager at Lam Research Corporation (Lam). As a process engineer, she has ISO-class clean room experience as well as design-of-experiment, statistical process control and development of best known methodologies experience. She has also cultivated methodologies to develop plasma-etch solutions for 10 nm, 7 nm, and 5 nm conductor-logic applications, including STI/gate modules, III/V materials, planarization, quadruple patterning, and 3-D architecture. As a customer technology manager for one of the country’s largest chip manufacturers, she developed customer technology roadmaps and provided guidance for ramping to high-volume manufacturing. Dr. Titus was also an integral part of the Research and Development Department, testing and characterizing three prototype plasma-etch chambers, ramping products to alpha and beta designs, assessing hardware and software readiness for worldwide distribution, and contributing to six U.S. patents.

Dr. Titus completed her Ph.D. dissertation work at the University of California, Berkeley, under the advisement of Professor David Graves. Her research specialized in the development of plasma diagnostics and characterization of plasma-surface interactions. Working closely with industry-partners (Lam and On-Wafer), she used both experimental testing in an inductively coupled plasma chamber and computational (finite element) modeling to correlate wafer-surface response to plasma parameters. Her research examined the response of polymers (193 nm photoresist) to exposure of vacuum ultraviolet photons and high-energy ions to elucidate the degradation mechanisms of plasma-processed photoresists.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Arizona, 2005
  • Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society

    Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society

    Dow Graduate Fellowship for Women and Underrepresented Minorities. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2009

    Student Merit Award – AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition: Plasma Science and Technology Division, 2009

    Coburn-Winters Student Award Finalist. AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition: Plasma Science and Technology Division, 2009

    Young Researcher Award – 30th International Symposium on Dry Processes, 2008

    Tohoku University, Global Engineering Education Exchange, Japanese Government Scholarship, Monbusho, 2003–2004

Publications

Titus MJ, Hsu CC, Graves DB. “SensArray” voltage sensor analysis in an inductively coupled plasma. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 2010; 28:139.

Titus M J, Nest DG, Chung T-Y, Graves DB. Comparing 193 nm photoresist roughening in an inductively coupled plasma system and vacuum beam system. Journal of Physics D 2009; Applied Physics 42:152001.

Titus MJ, Nest D, Graves DB. Modelling vacuum ultraviolet photon penetration depth and C=O bond depletion in 193 nm photoresist. Journal of Physics D 2009; Applied Physics 42.

Titus MJ, Nest D, Graves DB. Absolute vacuum ultraviolet flux in inductively coupled plasmas and chemical modifications of 193 nm photoresist. Applied Physics Letters 2009; 94:171501.

Titus MJ, Graves DB. Wafer heating mechanisms in a molecular gas, inductively coupled plasma: in situ, real time wafer surface measurements and three-dimensional thermal modeling. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 2008; 26:1154–1160.

Hsu CC, Titus MJ, Graves DB. Measurement and modeling of time- and spatial-resolved wafer surface temperature in inductively coupled plasmas. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 2007; 25:607–614.

Thompson A, Ruiz J, Chadwick OA, Titus MJ, Chrover J. Rayleigh fractionation of iron isotopes during pedogenesis along a climate sequence of Hawaiian basalt. Chemical Geology 2007; 238:72–83.

Saito C, Okada H, Titus M, Yoshioka T, Mizoguchi T. Leaching of heavy metals from fly ash generated from gasification and melting furnace for municipal solid wastes by organic acids. Japan Society of Waste Management Expert 2007; 18:157–166.

Blowers P, Titus MJ. Use of life-cycle inventory as a screening tool for environmental performance: supercritical carbon dioxide in the semiconductor industry. Environmental Progress 2004; 23(4):284–290.

Selected Conference Presentations

Xu K, Souriau L, Hellin D, Versluijs J, Wong P, Vangoidsenhoven D, Vanderbroeck N, Dekkers H, Shi XP, Albert J, Tan CL, Vertommen J, Coenegrachts B, Orain I, Titus M, Kimura Y, Wiaux V, Boullart W. 15nm HP Patterning with EUV and SADP: key contributors for improvement of LWR, LER and CDU, SPIE 2013.

Titus MJ, Nest DG, Chung T-Y, Graves DB. 193nm Photoresist roughening in plasmas: VUV photons and synergistic mechanisms. AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition, 2009.

Titus MJ, Nest DG, Chung T-Y, Graves DB. Effects of inductively coupled plasma and substrate control parameters on 193nm photoresist roughening. 31st International Symposium on Dry Processes, 2009.

Titus MJ, Graves DB. Measuring vacuum ultraviolet flux via chemical modifications of 193 nm photoresist in inductively coupled plasmas. 30th International Symposium on Dry Processes, 2008.

Titus MJ, Graves DB. Novel ON-Wafer RF-Current Sensor: Sheath impedance and plasma density. AVS 55th International Symposium and Exhibition, 2008.

Titus MJ, Graves DB. In-situ wafer-based plasma sensor analysis in inductively coupled plasmas. AVS 54th International Symposium and Exhibition, 2007.

Hsu CC, Titus MJ, Graves DB. Substrate temperature sensor measurements and analysis in an inductively coupled plasma. AVS 53rd International Symposium and Exhibition, 2006.


Patents

U.S. Patent Number 20140030893: A Method to Shrink and Tune Trench/Via CD (Si-Yi Li, Gowri Kamarthy, Tae Won Kim, Monica Titus, Srikanth Raghavan, Ming-Shu Kuo).

U.S. Patent Number 9245761: Internal Plasma Grid for Semiconductor Fabrication (Vahid Vahedi, Ricky Marsh, Harmeet Singh, Gowri Kamarthy, Saravanapriyan Sriraman, Yoshie Kimura, Alex Paterson, Ying Wu, Monica Titus, Thorsten Lill, Jen-Kan Yu).

U.S. Patent Number 20140302680: Internal Plasma Grid for Semiconductor Fabrication (Vahid Vahedi, Harmeet Singh, Gowri Kamarthy, Alex Paterson, Monica Titus, Thorsten Lill).

U.S. Patent Number 20150249016: Method of Planarizing an Upper Surface of a Semiconductor Substrate in a Plasma Etch Chamber (Harmeet Singh, Gowri Kamarthy, Yoshie Kimura, Yifeng Zhou, Monica Titus, Meihua Shen, Baosuo Zhou, John Hoang).

U.S. Patent—Pending (submitted 3/31/2015): Gas Reaction Trajectory Control Through Tunable Plasma Dissociation for Wafer By-product (Saravanapriyan Sriraman, Alex Paterson, Monica Titus).

U.S. Patent—Pending (submitted 11/30/2015): Internal Plasma Grid Applications for Semiconductor Fabrication (Helene Del Puppo, Gowri Kamarthy, Yoshie Kimura, Alex Paterson, Monica Titus, Jen-Kan Yu, Radhika Mani, Nicolas Gani, Do Young Kim, Noel Sun, Ting-Ying Chung).


CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Arizona, 2005
  • Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society

    Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society

    Dow Graduate Fellowship for Women and Underrepresented Minorities. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2009

    Student Merit Award – AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition: Plasma Science and Technology Division, 2009

    Coburn-Winters Student Award Finalist. AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition: Plasma Science and Technology Division, 2009

    Young Researcher Award – 30th International Symposium on Dry Processes, 2008

    Tohoku University, Global Engineering Education Exchange, Japanese Government Scholarship, Monbusho, 2003–2004