TMCnet Feature
August 13, 2021

How Semiconductors work and Innovative Technology behind them



As you probably know, semiconductors or chips are materials whose conductivity is not perfect. They partly conduct current, and their resistance falls as temperature increases. These are materials like Silicon, Germanium, and Gallium Arsenide. Due to the imbalance of electrons that carry negative charges, a semiconductor generates a current at two ends of its surface.



How does a semiconductor work?

Semiconductors are elements with four electrons at the outermost energy level. This makes them stable and unable to conduct electricity. In order to conduct current, a material has to have free electrons. Semiconductors are created through a process called doping. An impurity like arsenic is introduced into the semiconductor. This impurity contains free electrons within it, which can conduct current.

This enables the semiconductor to carry charges but is not as effective as a conductor. 

Everyday uses of semiconductors

Semiconductors have a vast range of use in our daily lives. They have rendered themselves indispensable in terms of technological advancement. They are used in 3D printing machines and microchips. These microchips are subsequently used to run self-driving cars. 

Electronic devices like calculators, solar plates, and computers also use semiconductors to carry electric charges. Temperature sensors, MOSFET, and transistors used as a switch in electrical circuits are manufactured using semiconductors.

The industrial application of semiconductors has a major influence on the advancement of technology. For instance, the microprocessor used for controlling the operation of space vehicles is made of transistors.  

Semiconductors are used in almost all electronic devices, and this makes them an intricate part of our lives.

The n-type and p-type of semiconductors

In a P-type semiconductor, a trivalent impurity from group three elements is added. These impurities are like Aluminum, Indium, and Gallium. They provide extra holes known as the acceptor atoms. The majority of carriers in a P-type semiconductor are holes.

In an N-type semiconductor, a pentavalent impurity from group five elements is added. These impurities are Arsenic, Antimony, and Bismuth. They provide extra electrons and are termed donor atoms. Electrons are the majority charge carriers in N-type semiconductors.

Innovative solutions for semiconductors

These solutions encompass the automatic and manual wet processing systems for producing semiconductor products for all manner of different sectors. They can be used in FEOL and BEOL applications to produce prime wafers, chips, and MEMS.

Wafering.

A wafer, also known as a substrate, is a thin slice of semiconductors such as crystalline silicon. It is used for fabricating integrated circuits and in photovoltaics to manufacture solar cells. The wafer serves as the substrate for microelectronic built-in and upon the wafer.

Batch Immersion.

This is a PCB cleaning process that completely immerses the circuit board being washed so that the cleaning agent fully contacts every surface of the device. It utilizes ultrasonic energy or Sprays Under Immersion forces to circulate the fluid and apply mechanical energy to the substrate surface.

Batch Spray.

It is one of the widest used techniques in low and medium volume conformal coating processing. It uses a compressed air spray gun; the conformal coating is sprayed across the whole circuit board. It can produce a high-quality coating finish that gives the best protection due to good edge coverage.

Electroplating

This is the placing of metal onto another by hydrolysis. It prevents corrosion of metal or for decorative purposes. It uses an electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations to develop a lean coherent metal coating. It is applied in the electrical oxidation of anions on a solid substrate like the formation of silver chloride on silver wire to form silver chloride electrodes.

Due to their role in the fabrication of electronic devices, semiconductors are an important part of our lives.



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