Silicon wafer manufacturers aim to produce high-quality wafers to provide an excellent platform where millions of components, such as diodes, resistors, transistors, and more can be fabricated onto. This helps create high-quality integrated circuits. The process of fabricating IC chips involves a series of steps. But in this article, we will specifically discuss the process of metallization, assembly, and packaging in IC manufacturing.
Metallization is a process used to establish contact with silicon and to make interconnections on a chip. Aluminum is the preferred material to be used during this process because it makes a good conductor. It also has a good mechanical bond with silicon and produces low resistance contact. The process involves depositing a thin layer of aluminum over the entire wafer. To make the successive layers, each process, such as masking, etching, and doping, will have to be repeated until all chips are finished. Silicon dioxide through chemical vapor deposition will then be utilized as an insulator between the components. Depositing aluminum can also make contact pads.
Silicon wafer manufacturers are aware that each wafer can accommodate hundreds of chips. These chips are separated and packaged using a process called scribing and cleaving. The process utilizes a diamond saw to cut the wafer into single chips. But before these chips are packaged, they will first be observed under the microscope. Good chips will then be firmly fixed into a package. A thin wire will be connected to it using ultrasonic bonding. It is then enclosed for protection. Before they're delivered to customers, the chips will be tested again. The completed chips will then be packed using anti-static plastic bags.