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A review is presented of the recent advances in the study of oxygen precipitation and of the main properties of oxide precipitates in silicon. After a general overview of the system ‘‘oxygen in silicon,’’ the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the precipitate formation are treated in detail, with major emphasis on the phenomenology; subsequently, the most important techniques for the characterization of the precipitates are illustrated together with the most interesting and recent results. Finally, the possible influence of oxygen precipitation on technological applications is stressed, with particular attention to recent results regarding device yield. Actually, the essential novelty of this review rests on the attempt to give an extended picture of what has been recently clarified by means of highly sophisticated diagnostic methods and of the influence of precipitation on the properties of semiconductor devices. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.