Tag Archives: silicon

Today I’d like to lead you through an exercise in spatial comprehension. Or maybe it’s 3-D visualization. I’m not sure what the correct term is – but what I’m talking about is inversions of patterns. The goal of this post is to describe how to make a mask when you know what your end product should look like. What is a mask, you say? In general terms, a mask is a clear sheet that is patterned with opaque areas. You use it in the cleanroom for lithographic processes – that is, processes that transfer a pattern to the product you are working on. Is that gibberish? Let me show you were the spatial skills come into play… Say I want to make a glass slide with tiny gold wires on it. This is going to be an integral part of Iron Man’s flying suit, so it’s important to get these…

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I used to work in a wafer fab. I was a process engineer, shuffling 300mm wafers along as they got dry etched (the step that eats away at the various layers of silicon, oxide, metal or whatever other nasty stuff they put on wafers these days). I haven’t worked there in about 3 years now, as I got out of the wafer slingin’ game and now work with the products made in fabs. (system level electrical engineering) I don’t think about my old job much, but I always seem to while talking to doctors. I can’t help but compare the experiences of being a doctor, specifically an ER doctor, to taking care of wafers and dealing with issues that arise. Now, I’m not trying to say that these are similar in importance (believe me, I wouldn’t have gotten out of the wafer business if I thought it was anywhere as…

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