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Wafer (electronics)
A WAFER, also called a SLICE or SUBSTRATE , is a thin slice of semiconductor material , such as a crystalline silicon , used in electronics for the fabrication of integrated circuits and in photovoltaics for conventional, wafer-based solar cells . The wafer serves as the substrate for microelectronic devices built in and over the wafer and undergoes many microfabrication process steps such as doping or ion implantation , etching , deposition of various materials, and photolithographic patterning. Finally the individual microcircuits are separated (dicing ) and packaged
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VLSI
VERY-LARGE-SCALE INTEGRATION (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit (IC) by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The microprocessor is a VLSI device. Before the introduction of VLSI technology most ICs had a limited set of functions they could perform. An electronic circuit might consist of a CPU , ROM , RAM and other glue logic . VLSI lets IC designers add all of these into one chip. A VLSI integrated-circuit die CONTENTS * 1 History * 2 Developments * 3 Structured design * 4 Struggles * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links HISTORYThe History of the transistor dates to the mid-1920s when several inventors attempted devices that were intended to control current in solid-state diodes and convert them into triodes
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Wafer Dicing
In the context of manufacturing integrated circuits , WAFER DICING is the process by which die are separated from a wafer of semiconductor following the processing of the wafer. The dicing process can involve scribing and breaking, mechanical sawing (normally with a machine called a dicing saw) or laser cutting . All methods are typically automated to ensure precision and accuracy. Following the dicing process the individual silicon chips are encapsulated into chip carriers which are then suitable for use in building electronic devices such as computers , etc. During dicing, wafers are typically mounted on dicing tape which has a sticky backing that holds the wafer on a thin sheet metal frame. Dicing tape has different properties depending on the dicing application. UV curable tapes are used for smaller sizes and non-UV dicing tape for larger die sizes
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Integrated Circuit Packaging
In electronics manufacturing, INTEGRATED CIRCUIT PACKAGING is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication , in which the tiny block of semiconducting material is encapsulated in a supporting case that prevents physical damage and corrosion. The case, known as a "package ", supports the electrical contacts which connect the device to a circuit board. In the integrated circuit industry, the process is often referred to as packaging. Other names include semiconductor device assembly, assembly, encapsulation or sealing. The packaging stage is followed by testing of the integrated circuit. The term is sometimes confused with electronic packaging , which is the mounting and interconnecting of integrated circuits (and other components) onto printed-circuit boards
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Substrate (electronics)
SUBSTRATE (also called a wafer ) is a solid (usually planar ) substance onto which a layer of another substance is applied, and to which that second substance adheres. In solid-state electronics , this term refers to a thin slice of material such as silicon , silicon dioxide , aluminum oxide , sapphire , germanium , gallium arsenide (GaAs), an alloy of silicon and germanium, or indium phosphide (InP). These serve as the foundation upon which electronic devices such as transistors , diodes , and especially integrated circuits (ICs) are deposited. Note that a substrate in the field of electronics is either a semiconductor or an electrical insulator , depending on the fabrication process that is being used. For the cases in which an insulator such as silicon oxide or aluminum oxide is used as the substrate, what happens next is the following. On top of the oxide, a thin layer of semiconducting material, usually pure silicon
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Semiconductor Material
A SEMICONDUCTOR material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor , such as copper, and an insulator , such as glass. Their resistance decreases as their temperature increases, which is behavior opposite to that of a metal. Their conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by the deliberate, controlled introduction of impurities ("doping ") into the crystal structure . Where two differently-doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers which include electrons , ions and electron holes at these junctions is the basis of diodes , transistors and all modern electronics. Semiconductor devices can display a range of useful properties such as passing current more easily in one direction than the other, showing variable resistance, and sensitivity to light or heat
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Crystalline Silicon
CRYSTALLINE SILICON (C-SI) is the crystalline forms of silicon , either multicrystalline silicon (multi-Si) consisting of small crystals, or monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), a continuous crystal. Crystalline silicon
Crystalline silicon
is the dominant semiconducting material used in photovoltaic technology for the production of solar cells . These cells are assembled into solar panels as part of a photovoltaic system to generate solar power from sunlight. In electronics , crystalline silicon is typically the monocrystalline form of silicon, and is used for producing microchips . This silicon contains much lower impurity levels than those required for solar cells. Production of semiconductor grade silicon involves a chemical purification to produce hyperpure polysilicon followed by a recrystallization process to grow monocrystalline silicon. The cylindrical boules are then cut into wafers for further processing
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Electronics
ELECTRONICS is the science of controlling electrical energy electrically, in which the electrons have a fundamental role. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes , transistors , diodes , integrated circuits , optoelectronics , sensors etc. associated passive electrical components, and interconnection technologies. Commonly, electronic devices contain circuitry consisting primarily or exclusively of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; such a circuit is described as an electronic circuit . The science of electronics is also considered to be a branch of physics and electrical engineering . The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible, and electronics is widely used in information processing , telecommunication , and signal processing
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Semiconductor Fabrication
SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE FABRICATION is the process used to create the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photo lithographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made of pure semiconducting material. Silicon
Silicon
is almost always used, but various compound semiconductors are used for specialized applications. The entire manufacturing process, from start to packaged chips ready for shipment, takes six to eight weeks and is performed in highly specialized facilities referred to as fabs
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Integrated Circuits
An INTEGRATED CIRCUIT or MONOLITHIC INTEGRATED CIRCUIT (also referred to as an IC, a CHIP, or a MICROCHIP) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material , normally silicon . The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and faster than those constructed of discrete electronic components . The IC's mass production capability, reliability and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics . Computers , mobile phones , and other digital home appliances and are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs
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Photovoltaics
PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV) is a term which covers the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect , a phenomenon studied in physics , photochemistry , and electrochemistry . A typical photovoltaic system employs solar panels , each comprising a number of solar cells , which generate electrical power. PV installations may be ground-mounted, rooftop mounted or wall mounted. The mount may be fixed, or use a solar tracker to follow the sun across the sky. Solar PV has specific advantages as an energy source: its operation generates no pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions once installed, it shows simple scalability in respect of power needs and silicon has large availability in the Earth’s crust. PV systems have the major disadvantage that the power output is dependent on direct sunlight, so about 10-25% is lost if a tracking system is not used, since the cell will not be directly facing the sun at all times
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Solar Cell
A SOLAR CELL, or PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL (previously termed "solar battery " ), is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect , which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. It is a form of photoelectric cell, defined as a device whose electrical characteristics, such as current, voltage, or resistance, vary when exposed to light. Solar cells are the building blocks of photovoltaic modules, otherwise known as solar panels . Solar cells are described as being photovoltaic , irrespective of whether the source is sunlight or an artificial light. They are used as a photodetector (for example infrared detectors ), detecting light or other electromagnetic radiation near the visible range, or measuring light intensity
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Substrate (semiconductor)
SUBSTRATE (also called a wafer ) is a solid (usually planar ) substance onto which a layer of another substance is applied, and to which that second substance adheres. In solid-state electronics , this term refers to a thin slice of material such as silicon , silicon dioxide , aluminum oxide , sapphire , germanium , gallium arsenide (GaAs), an alloy of silicon and germanium, or indium phosphide (InP). These serve as the foundation upon which electronic devices such as transistors , diodes , and especially integrated circuits (ICs) are deposited. Note that a substrate in the field of electronics is either a semiconductor or an electrical insulator , depending on the fabrication process that is being used. For the cases in which an insulator such as silicon oxide or aluminum oxide is used as the substrate, a thin layer of semiconducting material, usually pure silicon, is placed on top of the oxide
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Microelectronic
MICROELECTRONICS is a subfield of electronics . As the name suggests, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture (or microfabrication ) of very small electronic designs and components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller. These devices are typically made from semiconductor materials. Many components of normal electronic design are available in a microelectronic equivalent. These include transistors , capacitors , inductors , resistors , diodes and (naturally) insulators and conductors can all be found in microelectronic devices. Unique wiring techniques such as wire bonding are also often used in microelectronics because of the unusually small size of the components, leads and pads. This technique requires specialized equipment and is expensive
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Microfabrication
MICROFABRICATION is the process of fabricating miniature structures of micrometre scales and smaller. Historically, the earliest microfabrication processes were used for integrated circuit fabrication, also known as "semiconductor manufacturing " or "semiconductor device fabrication". In the last two decades microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), microsystems (European usage), micromachines (Japanese terminology) and their subfields, microfluidics/lab-on-a-chip, optical MEMS (also called MOEMS), RF MEMS, PowerMEMS, BioMEMS and their extension into nanoscale (for example NEMS, for nano electro mechanical systems) have re-used, adapted or extended microfabrication methods. Flat-panel displays and solar cells are also using similar techniques. Miniaturization of various devices presents challenges in many areas of science and engineering: physics , chemistry , materials science , computer science , ultra-precision engineering, fabrication processes, and equipment design
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Doping (semiconductors)
In semiconductor production, DOPING is the intentional introduction of impurities into an intrinsic semiconductor for the purpose of modulating its electrical properties. The doped material is referred to as extrinsic semiconductors . A semiconductor doped to such high levels that it acts more like a conductor than a semiconductor is referred to as a degenerate semiconductor . In the context of phosphors and scintillators , doping is better known as activation . Doping is also used to control the color in some pigments
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