Integrated Cicuit Technology Silicon. Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT TECHNOLOGY In the early 1970's integrated circuit superseded the construction of electronic circuits assembled by the soldered inter-connected of discrete components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, etc. From this time on most electronic circuits and systems contained some circuitry in the form of monolithic integrated circuit. These so-called 'silicon chips' now form the main operating parts of all electronic systems used in computers, communications, control and instrumentation systems, etc. The fabrication of integrated circuits were the individual components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, etc. are formed and inter-connected on a single slice of silicon employs several techniques based on photolithography, the controlled diffusion of dopants and a metallic deposition onto the oxidised silicon surface, thereafter, the completed circuit is appropriately packaged to give it environmental immunity.WAFERS The whole process starts with the preparation of the silicon wafers. The wafers are thin, circular discs of silicon. They are made in various diameters, 100, 125 and 150mm with even larger ones being developed. The wafers are normally less than 1mm in thickness.The individual wafers are sawn from long cylindrical rods of silicon with the use of laser scribes. The silicon rods may be as much as 3m in length. The silicon rods are made by crystal pulling techniques.CRYSTAL PULLING Silicon crystals are grown under very stringent conditions to ensure that they are pure and that the crystal construction is as perfect as possible. The crystal growth begins with a seed crystal previously cut from another crystal and as the molten silicon at 1400°C loses heat it solidifies onto the seed crystal. The crystal is then drawn from the melt at a precise rate to form the ingot. Slow growth is essential to maintain a perfect crystalline structure, the growth rate being about 2mm per minute. As well as pure silicon, doped silicon can be made, i.e. P-type or N-type, to any required concentration. In fact doped material is a more appropriate starting material than pure undoped silicon for most fabrication purposes. After the crystal has sawn into wafers, the surfaces of each wafer are polished to produce a flat surface. The rim is then 'edge-contoured' to reduce the chance of the rim being chipped, which would lead to crystal defects and the possibility of defective integrated circuits near the perimeter of the wafer. Finally, one surface of the wafer is polished to a mirror finish; this is the face upon which the circuits are fabricated.MASKS AND PHOTOLITHOGRAPHY The circuit designer, with the aid of CAD equipment and data on standard dimensions, doping levels, etc. must decide exactly hoe each device in the circuit will be implemented in silicon. Design decisions have to be taken, for example, on how far apart and how much space has to be allocated for device...

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