Critical Thinking Worksheet #3 - Stephanie Drybala GNSCI...

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Stephanie Drybala October 25, 2007 GNSCI Critical Thinking #3 Essay A semiconductor is a solid. It has electrical conductivity that is placed between a conductor and an insulator. It is something that can be controlled, either eternally or dynamically. A semiconductor is like an insulator. Semiconductors are very important in technology. Many electronic components are made from semiconductor materials. The most common of these is silicone. Semiconductor device fabrication is the process that is used to create chips that are present in many electronic and electrical devices. The entire processing time for creating these chips takes about six to eight weeks. The employees who work in a semiconductor production facility are required to wear cleanroom suits. This will prevent the chips that are making from getting ruined by human contamination. Intel is the world’s largest producer of semiconductor chips followed by many other well known companies such as Toshiba and Texas Instruments. These devices were originally only made in Texas and California and are not created all over the world. In 2006, there were about 5,000 semiconductor and electronic components manufacturers in the United States. These manufacturers accounted for $165 billion dollars. Semiconductors are used in many different devices. Some examples are field effect transistors, integrated circuits, focal plane arrays, and infa-red detectors. Silicon is the most common material that is used in these devices. However, there are many other compound semiconductors. The most common of these compound semiconductors are
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gallium arsenide, indium phosphide, mercury cadmium telluride, cadmium sulphide, cadmium telluride. The process of preparing a semiconductor chip or wafer can be summed up in three steps. First there is the wafer thinning or backlapping. This is done to reduce the fabricated semiconductor wafer’s thermal conductivity. It also speeds up signal transmission across the device. The second step is chemo-mechanical polishing. The third stage is chemical polishing. This prepares the semiconductor wafer surface for epitaxial growth or to reclaim wafers which have a defective epitaxial layer.
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