Microprocessors used in desktops computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops are made from what seems to be useless material that you would least expect in its production: Sand. In the manufacturing process, the smaller the procedure, the more the transistors can be fitted in one die. These microprocessors or chips are among the most complicated products in the world and making one is already difficult. Not to mention, it demands extreme precision.

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The Sand

The procedure for creating computer chips all start with sand, specifically the one referred to as silica sand. This comprises of silicon dioxide. Silicon is used as the base material for semiconductor in manufacturing and should be pure. Otherwise, it can’t be used for the actual manufacturing stage.

Then it will go through the next step where there would be several purification as well as filtering processes to deliver electronic-grade silicon with a purity percentage of 99.99.

The purified silicon ingot normally weighs a hundred kilos and shaped from melted silica, before preparing it for the next step.

Cutting the Wafers

Once on this stage, the wafers will be sliced while preserving the ability of the material to be used in fabrication process. These wafers are refined and then polished to be able to deliver the best surface area to the succeeding fabrication procedures.

Photolithography

After it’s polished and prepared for the next process, there will be a new layer of photoresist that’s thinly spread across water. The layer is exposed to UV light mask that is shaped in patterns of the circuit of microprocessor.

The exposed photoresist will be washed off and ions will be bombarded to the silicon wafer to change its conductive properties or otherwise referred to as doping. The rest of the photoresist will be washed off to reveal a pattern of unaffected and affected material. Then after, pattern of hard material will be applied to wafer by using another step of photolithography. Chemicals will be introduced in removing unwanted silicon which leaves thin silicon ridges.