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Microelectronics has enabled designers of integrated circuits to exercise complete control over the electrical characteristics of each component they create. This unit will illustrate how such control is achieved and the various methods that can be applied in differing circumstances.
After you have completed this unit you should be able to demonstrate that you have achieved the following learning outcomes:
- an understanding of how to relate physical dimensions and materials properties to static and dynamic behaviour;
- an awareness of how small features are cut out in solid materials, and how small features are built up in solid materials;
- describe the piezoelectric effect and its use for producing small-scale movement in mechanical devices;
- state the relative significance of different forces at very small scales;
- identify key factors that influence the behaviour of mechanical vibrating and resonant systems;
- describe the range of deposition techniques available for microfabrication;
- select an appropriate deposition method for different classes of material;
- describe the etching methods available for microfabrication;
- identify the characteristic etch profiles and constraints of different etching methods.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Structural devices: a static role
- 2 Form and function, method and material
- 3 Building atomic force microscope probes
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 The principles of scanning probe microscopes
- 3.3 The scanning tunnelling microscope
- 3.4 The atomic force microscope
- 3.5 Scanning modes of the AFM
- 3.6 Design considerations for AFM probes
- 3.7 Micromachining the AFM tip and cantilever
- 3.8 Review
- 4 Piezoelectricity: motion from crystals
- 5 Short range forces
- 6 Vibrations and resonance
- 7 Deposition
- 7.1 Introduction
- 7.2 Film properties
- 7.3 Depositing metals and alloys
- 7.4 Depositing compounds
- 8 Etching
- 8.1 Introduction
- 8.2 Wet etches: acids and bases
- 8.3 Gas-phase etching
- 8.3.1 Fluorine-based etching of silicon
- 8.3.2 Sputter etching: argon ion etching of gold
- 8.3.3 Reactive ion etching: chlorine/argon plasma etching of aluminium
- 8.3.4 Etchants and protectants: sulphur hexafluoride/oxygen plasma etching of siliconL
- 8.3.5 Alternative plasma chamber designs: MERIE and ICP
- 8.3.6 Deep silicon etching
- 8.4 Stopping the etch
- 8.5 Review
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This unit examines how small features can be etched and cut out of solid materials at a very small scale.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 25th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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