Microelectronics: An Introduction

What is microelectronics?

By definition, microelectronics is a specialized field that is under the discipline of Electronics Engineering. In electronics, it deals with tiny, or microscopic components to manufacture electronics. It has been rapidly evolving, as the demand for small and less costly devices advances, microelectronics continues to expand.

There are three main areas microelectronics focus, these are research, reliability, and manufacture. The downside of the equipment and expertise being utilized in the manufacturing of microelectronic devices are not widely available, thus the microelectronic devices are generally expensive than devices that do not use microelectronics.

These electronic devices are mostly made from semiconductor materials, and many components of a normal electronic design are available in a microelectronic equivalent. Transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, insulators and conductors are found in a microelectronic device. The microscopic sizes of the components lead, and pads require a unique wiring technique called wire bonding, which can be utilized by a specialized equipment, thus making the devices expensive.

A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value that falls between of a conductor and an insulator. As the temperature increases, its resistance decreases, this is a characteristic opposite of a metal.

A transistor is a semiconductor device that is utilized to amplify or switch the electronic signals and electrical power. It has at least three terminals to connect to an external circuit. A voltage or current is applied to one pair of the transistor’s terminals. It is a fundamental building block of the modern electronic devices.

A capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores electrical energy in an electric field. It is widely used in electronic circuits for blocking direct current while allowing alternating current to pass.

An inductor is also a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores electrical energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. It is one of the three passive linear circuit elements that make up an electronic circuit. It is also used to separate signals of different frequencies.

A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element.

A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction and it has a low resistance in one direction, and a high resistance in the other. Nowadays, most diodes are made of silicon.

An insulator is an electrical component whose internal electric charges do not flow freely and has a little electric current that can flow through under the influence of an electric field. It has a property that distinguishes itself from other components, it is its resistivity, and insulators have higher resistivity than semiconductors or conductors. Insulators are utilized in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors without allowing current through themselves.

A conductor is an object or type of material that allows the flow of an electrical current in one or more directions.

As microelectronics is quickly developing, it suggests for a more potential future of new advancements.

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