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The Story of Semiconductors$
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John W. Orton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559107.001.0001

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Silicon, Silicon, and yet more Silicon

Silicon, Silicon, and yet more Silicon

(p.93) Chapter 4 Silicon, Silicon, and yet more Silicon
The Story of Semiconductors

John Orton

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the establishment of silicon as the dominant semiconductor in modern electronics. Not only was it the preferred material for the manufacture of integrated circuits, but also for the development of power devices. The invention of the integrated circuit by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments is described, together with that of the planar IC by Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor. The subsequent growth of IC technology is outlined, depending very largely on the invention of the MOS transistor in 1960. A brief outline is given of silicon wafer production and the application of photolithography in defining IC patterns. Moore's Law is explained and a short discussion of Japanese successes in the IC business during the 1970s is interpolated. The parallel development of silicon power devices is described, together with a selection of typical applications. The chapter concludes with an account of some exciting developments in silicon physics, including the discovery of the quantum Hall effect.

Keywords:   silicon, integrated circuit, MOS transistor, power device, technology, photolithography, Moore's Law, quantum Hall effect

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