A branch of electronics technology called Microelectronics is the study, the design and manufacture of minute electronic components that use up a little amount of electric power. As a technology, the term can sometimes be used to mean the discrete components used in the design of compact circuits like the integrated circuits.
The traditional circuits are made into smaller sizes with the aid of microelectronics
This is the technology behind the computers, smartphones and LCD display technologies.
The Discrete Components Of Microelectronics
Microelectronic devices are made by using semiconductor materials like Silicon and Germanium. The traditional electronic designs and components you have around can be found in their microelectronic forms. The components that make up microelectronic devices comprises the capacitors, transistors, resistors, diode, inductors and conductors and insulators. These are all micrometer-scale designs on the devices in which they are found.
Transistors and other microelectronic components are made by using the microelectronic technology on the surface of silicon. The silicon chip or the integrated circuit is a complete circuit that measures just some millimeters square.
Functions Of Semiconductors
Semiconductors on a circuit basically serve two core purposes. These are conductors or as insulators. As conductors, they guide or aid the flow of electric current.
On the other hand as insulators, they prevent the flow of current or heat through a system.
In electronic gadgets used at home or in industries, semiconductors embedded in them are used in information processing, power handling, signal conditioning, data storage and conversion of electrical energy to light energy or the other way round, and displays such as LCD.
Semiconductor manufacture starts by using a solid crystalline substance with a conductivity that falls between insulators and metals.
Germanium and silicon are the most used materials for making semiconductor components which makes up the integrated circuits.
Building Of Integrated Circuit Goes Through Stages
When designing an IC (Integrated circuit), transistors, resistors and other components mentioned above are the core requirements. This design is achieved by using semiconductor materials that goes through different phases.
An integrated circuit (ICs) is made up of different components of microelectronics components such as transistors and resistors.
The process involved in the manufacture of ICs is somewhat complex. It takes stages that should be followed to achieve the desired result. Here, silicon is preferred as the semiconductor material of choice because of the capability it offers to be able to alter its electrical properties by introducing impurities to it. During the process, here are terms you will meet along the way and what they mean.
Silicon And Wafers
At the initial stage, silicon from sand is molten in a furnace. A little seed silicon crystal is introduced to the molten silicon that is also red-hot.
This produces sausage-like pure silicon. This shape is then cut into slices called wafers.
Etching And Masking
In Masking and Etching process, a layer of silicon dioxide is formed by heating the wafer. The layer is afterwards coated lightly and exposed to UV (ultraviolet) light via a mask. Some areas of the wafer are hardened by the light while on other areas, the oxide is etched away. This gives a naked silicon pattern.
Doping is the process of heating the silicon wafer in a furnace with another element such as arsenic to add an impurity to the silicon to change its electrical properties. At various heat ranges and in the presence of chemicals, microelectronic components like transistors, resistors and other components are produced.
For quality control, each wafer is put through the computer- directed testing equipment to ensure every chip is working fine. For the delicate nature of the chips produced, dust can cause some to fail. These are marked to go through the process again.
Metal pins are used to connect the chip by welding with fine gold wire to connect the chip and the pins. The resulting chip is thereafter placed in protective ceramics or plastic package with the pins sticking out. Soldering of the pins into a board is done with copper tracts connecting many chips to produce a working circuit.