Semiconductors @ Home

Building all the tools to make and connect multiple FET's at home.

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I want to make chips, period.
In order to do that, I have to build specialized tools to be able to do so.

1.- Vacuum chamber for sputtering deposition. (completed, being upgraded)
2.- 1200ºC tubular oven with controlled atmosphere. (waiting for materials to arrive)
3.- Fume hood (HF is a deadly acid)

The timetable is to start prototypes in two months (by middle June 2018)

Well, as the tittle says, I want to build complete chips at home.

To even begin, you need a 1200ºC oven, a sputtering machine for interconnects and FET gates, and a safe way to handle deadly acids.

The project is well advanced, with most materials already sourced out, or waiting for their arrival.

The sputtering chamber is already worked out, pending efficiency improvements, but nothing major.

The level of miniaturization I will achieve is unknown, but let's say I'm aiming to quickly achieve 3mm2 transistors to begin with. (of course the first ones will be like 1cm2, because I have to test many things.)

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Nixie wrote 05/14/2018 at 13:07 point

@ivan003003  (I can't answer directly to your messages, is weird sometimes).

Mmmm...what kind of oxide you would like to sputter?,

Altough in any case, the cost of assembling a machine like this is around 1000€, with that surely you can gold coat many pcb's.

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ivan003003 wrote 05/14/2018 at 13:37 point

I don't know yet,but maybe the graphite powder or Si Wafer,they could be excellent,especially the Si Wafer on the copper.

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Nixie wrote 05/14/2018 at 13:48 point

I bought two days ago the same set!!!! XD!!!

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ivan003003 wrote 05/14/2018 at 14:25 point

Впечатлительно ;)

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ivan003003 wrote 05/12/2018 at 01:14 point

I have a question.

Sorry for my poor english,but if you don't understand something,then pls don't hesitate to ask me details.

So my question is :

By using this Sputtering machine (Pvd) can i go to plate the copper traces on my pcb's antennas to defeat the skin effect ?

I can't afford to plate my pcb's with the real gold or silver,so for this reason im asking you if this machine can done the same job instead of gold plating :)

Thanks you very much!

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Nixie wrote 05/13/2018 at 07:19 point

I do not understand the skin effect part. What would you like to cover the antennas with?
Sputtering can do insulator materials, but it requires radiofrequency to do it. This is a DC sputterng machine, easier to build.

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ivan003003 wrote 05/14/2018 at 02:57 point

Hi there.

The skin effect in my case it's an psychic phenomena.

Basically when you are going up to Ghz range,the RF signal is not anymore linear.

Instead to circulate only on the geometrical traces of the antenna,it's goig to be chaotic &  unpredictable.

So for this reason in RF tecnology,the parts that are working at high frequency are always plated with gold,silver etc.....

At this point my idea was that:

Go to attach at the textolite an soldering stencil and then put the pcb in the sputtering machine to plate the antenna with some dioxide generated inside the pvd machine.

In fact it's just an idea to experiment,i'm not sure if this kind of thecnology could solve the problem of the RF Skin effect... just saying :(

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ivan003003 wrote 05/14/2018 at 03:21 point

Actually i'm planning to draw on a pcb an Double-quad 2.5Ghz wi-fi antenna.

I will order it on pcbway or pcbcart (not yet sure);

so when i will done my order,the gold plated traces for this kind of application it's obligatory.

The gold plating in my case is rising for a lot the cost of the final product,but in any case by doing this there's no sense to do it without gold plating for an antenna based on Ghz's range .

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heye.everts.1 wrote 05/09/2018 at 08:01 point

How do you control/measure the pressure in your vacuum chamber? 

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heye.everts.1 wrote 05/09/2018 at 08:38 point

nevermind just browed through the comments and found it :-)

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Nixie wrote 05/09/2018 at 11:58 point


Also, since the pump motor uses a VFD, I can also tamper with the pump rpm to control the pressure.

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zakqwy wrote 05/02/2018 at 20:27 point

congrats on the win! seems like you already know this, but be _really careful_ around HF. make sure you have a tub of calcium gluconate gel around.

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Nixie wrote 05/02/2018 at 23:44 point

Any reminder of how dangerous is HF is always welcome in my agenda.^^
Yes, that's the first thing I'll buy before purchasing the chemicals, and thankyou for the cheering ;)

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Mr. Ike wrote 05/03/2018 at 08:47 point

Great work!

I would say the same thing as Zakqwy. I work in this industry (Building sub-modules for a certain litho systems supplier) and HF is one of those things that makes me say: No, thank you. Lucky for me I have only had to deal with it once. Apart from having  a supply of Calcium Gluconate on hand, find a instruction sheet for medical personal on HF exposure and have that on hand in printed form. That way, IF god forbid something were to happen you don't have to explain anything and can just point. Something like:

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Nixie wrote 05/03/2018 at 09:51 point

Thankyou ^^, will follow that advice too.

Imagine my face when the suplier said it "only" served the HF in 72%...

I was WTF, I'm not going to buy that!!!!!

Luckily they will dilute it for me down to 10/5% (5% If I can choose).

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RoGeorge wrote 04/18/2018 at 09:04 point

Oh, gotta see this!

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Nixie wrote 04/13/2018 at 03:45 point

@Keegan Reilly (for some reason .io doesn't allow a direct reply to your comment  :/      )

As long as you have fun, it will amount to something, I'd say. ^^

I'm using a Fieldpiece SVG3 micron display. There are some in Ebay at somewhat decent prices. Be careful with any of those, they can have "weird" connectors. (this one has a 1/4SAE connector, for wich I machined an adaptor to M8 (with gasket) to be able to connect it easily to other equipment.
If you achieve a stage (see what I did there? XD) where you are going to test the turbo, it will only indicate rough performance, since should the turbo work, it will go way below 1 micron.
In my head, even a turbo that can go from my pump's 50 microns to 1 micron or below, is somewhat justifiable for certain experiments). Really good mechanical vacuum pumps can directly achieve 1/0,1 microns, but at a (monetary) cost, obviously.

Going back to gauges, as said, if the turbo works, you'll end needing something along the lines of a pirani gauge or similar, again, there are some on ebay. Can't recommend any, since I'm not in that kind of vacuums yet/near future.

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Keegan Reilly wrote 04/15/2018 at 22:11 point

Sounds good, thanks!  Yeah, the .io is weird sometimes.   I'll let ya know if I get anywhere with it...

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Keegan Reilly wrote 04/12/2018 at 01:59 point

Very cool!  I've been thinking of dabbling in the vacuum space too, you've inspired me to pick it up again. I want to make an accessible (cheap) turbomolecular pump (easier said than done of course).  What gauge are you using to measure your vacuum?  

Also have you seen anyone use Pyrex mixing bowls as a chamber?  

Awesome work, and documentation, thanks for sharing and good luck!

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Nixie wrote 04/12/2018 at 09:02 point

Glad it got you engaged, and yes, I know your tesla pump turbomolecular project too!

Did you know that nowadays, turbomolecular pumps are a hybrid of a turbine and a tesla? They call it "drag stage" and it sits behind the bladed section, having just like a staggered small window beneath each disc (not much info on that, just seen some pictures). As I read, it allows for pumping with "incredible high" backpressures, like 1000/2000 microns.

I want to try too on a turbo, but given the pressures I want to work right now and in the near future, I have zero need for it, so it will get shelved for a while.

As for the Pyrex bowls, yes, in some fusor works.

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Keegan Reilly wrote 04/12/2018 at 22:38 point

Oh cool!  I'm glad you saw my page!  I don't think it will amount to anything useful, but it's been a fun way to tinker and experiment, try something no one has tried before (that I can find anyway).  At least I finally built something real recently.  It doesn't do much at atmospheric, I need to test it in rough vacuum next.  

And yes, I learned about turbo-drag pumps soon after I started looking into this whole business.  They're really cool.  What's interesting is the way the channel shape affects compression ratio (look up Agilent's "TwisTorr" technology).  They use smoother, longer channels to get higher compression ratio, at the cost of throughput.  What is fascinating to me is that looking at the streamlines on a CFD of a smooth disc, they naturally curve over anyways as the pressure differential reaches maximum.  I hope to post about that soon.  

What do you use/recommend for vacuum gauge?  

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rafununu wrote 03/28/2018 at 11:39 point

So you're able to make dichroïc filters. How do you manage the layer thickness ?

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Nixie wrote 03/28/2018 at 11:42 point

Sorry, what?
I mean, I don't remember having said anything about light filters. The machine is not running yet, and on previous trials I just diposited copper. Soon I'll have more news about that. ^^

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