Semiconductor manufacturing: driving the future market for technology
In today’s digital world, semiconductors are the foundation of smartphones, computers, electronic devices, computer chips and more. Semiconductors are materials that have the property that they conduct electricity only when electrically energized. This makes them ideal for controlling and amplifying electrical current. However, the manufacture of semiconductors is extremely complicated and so is the sealing of the processes.
Seals are coming into contact with highly corrosive liquids as well as gases during processing. Gaskets/Seals therefore must be able to compensate temperature fluctuations and must be chemically resistant. Also, the used gaskets/seals are needed to be of high purity in order not to pollute or influence the process with leacheables.
Four processing steps would have to be repeated hundreds of times to build up a chip layer by layer. In addition, chips have a high reject rate and are highly susceptible to damage. Most semiconductors are made of silicon, which must be extracted in the first step. Initially, microelectronic silicon wafers are produced in a complex process. The wafers serve as a substrate for the circuit. A light-sensitive layer is then applied to the wafer and, with the aid of UV light and a mask pattern, a pattern is transferred to the layer. Once the desired circuit pattern has been created after repeating the previous process several times, unwanted areas can be removed by etching. In the subsequent doping process, specific areas of the semiconductor are selectively enriched with impurity atoms to influence the electrical properties. Depending on the intended use, further layers of different materials are applied to the wafer to insulate, connect and protect the semiconductor devices. After the semiconductors are inspected on the wafer, the circuits are separated, followed by a cutting process and assembled into the final products.
Because semiconductor manufacturing is such a complex and precise process, even small defects can affect the functionality of a microchip.
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