Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

Major Professor

Qiang Huang, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

José Zayas-Castro, Ph.D.


Nanowire, Gaussian Markov random field, Neighborhood structure, Interaction, Autoregressive scheme


Nanomanufacturing is critical to the future growth of U.S. manufacturing. Yet the process yield of current nanodevices is typically 10% or less. Particularly in nanomaterials growth, there may exist large variability across the sites on a substrate, which could lead to variability in properties. Essential to the reduction of variability is to mathematically describe the spatial variation of nanostructure. This research therefore aims at a method of modeling and estimating nanostructure morphology variation for process yield improvement. This method consists of (1) morphology variation modeling based on Gaussian Markov random field (GMRF) theory, and (2) maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) of morphology variation model based on measurement data. The research challenge lies in the proper definition and estimation of the interactions among neighboring nanostructures. To model morphology variation, nanostructures on all sites are collectively described as a GMRF.

The morphology variation model serves for the space-time growth model of nanostructures. The probability structure of the GMRF is specified by a so-called simultaneous autoregressive scheme, which defines the neighborhood systems for any site on a substrate. The neighborhood system characterizes the interactions among adjacent nanostructures by determining neighbors and their influence on a given site in terms of conditional auto-regression. The conditional auto-regression representation uniquely determines the precision matrix of the GMRF. Simulation of nanostructure morphology variation is conducted for various neighborhood structures. Considering the boundary effects, both finite lattice and infinite lattice models are discussed. The simultaneous autoregressive scheme of the GMRF is estimated via the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) method. The MLE estimation of morphology variation requires the approximation of the determinant of the precision matrix in the GMRF.

The absolute term in the double Fourier expansion of a determinant function is used to approximate the coefficients in the precision matrix. Since the conditional MLE estimates of the parameters are affected by coding the date, different coding schemes are considered in the estimation based on numerical simulation and the data collected from SEM images. The results show that the nanostructure morphology variation modeling and estimation method could provide tools for yield improvement in nanomanufacturing.