DAVID PARKER / SEAGATE MICROELECTRONICS LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SEAGATE MICROELECTRONICS LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Loading of silicon wafers into an automatic high temperature furnace used for the diffusion and oxidation stages in the fabrication of integrated circuits (silicon chips). The small, rectangular chips will be diced from the completed wafers. Each chip is comprised of a complicated pattern of embedded zones created by successive imaging, etching and deposition or growth processes. The oxidation of silicon by heating in oxygen or steam produces silicon dioxide, a highly stable material that inhibits the diffusion of dopant materials, used to produce individual circuit components, over certain areas of the chip.
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