ED YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ED YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chip manufacture. Etching equipment used in the production of integrated circuits ("chips"), with a semiconductor wafer in place. The wafer is later cut into chips. Chips are made by impregnating the semiconductor with certain impurities to make electronic components. During the etching process, wafers of silicon are placed in a vapour or a plasma in an electric field. The ions in the vapour impregnate areas of the wafer which are left exposed. This process may be repeated several times whilst changing the ions and areas exposed. The development of integrated circuits has greatly reduced the size of electronic components.
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