Semiconductors: What Are They and What Are They Made Of?

Did you know that the invention of the semiconductor in 1947 caused a revolution in the technology industry?

Are you asking yourself, "What are semiconductors?"

This little piece of tech has become a big part of our lives. They power everything from our smartphones and computers to our smart cars and modern appliances.

Has anyone ever put this question to you, "What are semiconductors made of?" Keep reading to learn all about it.

What Are Semiconductor Chips Made Out Of?

Semiconductors are materials that have electrical conductivity properties that fall between insulators and outright conductors. These properties are what make them perfect building blocks for various electronic devices.

Do you still want to know the answer to the question, "What are semiconductors made of?"

While it depends, most semiconductors are made from several main elements. These include silicon, germanium, and even gallium arsenide.

Out of all those, silicon is the most common element for manufacturing semiconductor chips. This is due to it being both cheap and stable in its chemical structure.

How Semiconductors Are Made

Now that you have an answer to the question, "What are semiconductor chips made out of," it's worth learning about how they're made.

To make a high-quality semiconductor chip, the silicon material must be purified. Doing so will go a long way toward removing impurities that can cause the chip to malfunction. This involves melting the silicon and then cooling it at a steady rate before turning it into a solid crystal of high purity.

After that, the manufacturer gets thin wafers by slicing the crystal. These wafers are the base material for the chips.

Doped Semiconductors

You may be surprised to learn that doped semiconductors involve adding impurities again. The purpose of this is to change its electrical properties.

While you know the basics, you might be asking yourself, "What are semiconductors made of in particular?"

For instance, adding some boron atoms will result in a p-type semiconductor. This features a positive-charge carrier. Adding either phosphorus or arsenic atoms will give you an n-type semiconductor with a negative-charge carrier.

This doping process involves a variety of methods, such as diffusion, ion implantation, and chemical vapor deposition. After doping, the chip needs a thin layer of metal. This coating will give the chip electrical contacts so that it can connect with other tech ingredients.

Circuits and Transistors

The last step involves creating a pattern of circuits and transistors. Photolithography is essential for this stop. The pattern is then etched into the chip through the wonder of chemical treatments.

Modern semiconductors boast billions of transistors and circuits in one small area. You'll find these in everything from school calculators to amazing supercomputers.

Are You Ready to Use Semiconductors?

What are semiconductor chips made out of? Now that you've learned all about semiconductors, you can better appreciate this cutting-edge technology.

Silyb Wafer Services can provide you with short-loop patterned wafers designed for CMP test wafer users.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact our experienced team.

Published June 22, 2023.