How Hudson Supports the Semiconductor Industry
Have you ever wondered how semiconductor firms build computer wafers and chips? The process involves a series of important techniques that range from material sourcing to product finishing.
Semiconductor factories, or “fabs,” create these parts using complex processes that rely on a diverse range of mechanical equipment. Because semiconductors require tight tolerances to function properly, integrating and maintaining all this equipment properly is essential to successful semiconductor manufacturing.
Producing Metal Parts For the Semiconductor Industry
Start With Silicon
All semiconductors rely on silicon to function properly. One of the most common elements on Earth, crude silicon appears in almost any variety of sand. However, suppliers must refine this silicon to nearly 100% purity if it is to function well in electronic applications.
Once it’s pure, workers heat the silicon to a molten state. This allows silicon to develop uniform chemical properties that make it ideal for later applications. After melting and reforming, workers lower a perfectly structured silicon “seed” into a larger vat of molten silicon. This seed creates the ideal conditions for long ingots of high-quality silicon to form.
Silicon’s ability to form long ingots of uniform material enable it to have the strong conductive capabilities that electronic applications rely on. What’s more, silicon is unique in that operators can modify when it can conduct electricity and when it can’t, hence the term “semiconductor.” This on/off capability forms the basis of binary code, i.e. the ones and zeros that dictate computer logic.
Using Photolithography to Pattern Silicon Chips
Manufacturers use photolithography to design the chips for their intended purpose. In this process, workers apply a pattern of photoresist across a wafer to create a “mask,” much like emulsion on film.
After this, workers etch away certain areas of the pattern. They do so by using plasma that degrades material with different properties than the hardened photoresist. Workers and automated processes repeat these steps, as well as deposition, diffusion, and ion implementation processes (outlined below), until they’ve created layers of transistors to their specifications.
Semiconductor manufacturers then use metallization to form interconnections between different transistors on the chip. This process also forms the chip’s bonding pads, which connect it to the package and the system’s circuit board.
Modifying the Semiconductor For Its Intended Use
Manufacturers perform a number of auxiliary tasks during photolithography to modify the semiconductor for its intended use. The most common processes include:
- Deposition: This process adds an insulating layer to the silicon substrate
- Diffusion: This process bakes impurities into wafer sections to alter their electrical characteristics
- Ion implantation: This process infuses silicon with various dopants to change its electrical characteristics
Where We Fit In
At Hudson Technologies, industry professionals come together to build essential components used to fabricate semiconductor wafers. We work with a wide range of materials, including:
- Stainless steel alloys
We also offer specialized tooling, finite element analysis (FEA) design, and customized packaging services depending on your needs. Hudson supplies much of the equipment found in fab plants, including machinery used for:
- Flow control
The Hudson Difference
Hudson Technologies has led the way in designing industry-leading metal parts and diaphragms since our founding in 1940. We’re proud to be at the forefront of today’s custom metal stamping industry.
To learn more about our services and how they can help your applications, contact our team today.