A GaAs Poem

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This poem was published by the IEEE as an "editorial". Too bad they don't archive the editorials for you to download on their web site. It's a good thing someone saved a paper copy all these years (Paul!)

Mike "MC" Driver was the guest editor for a special issue on III-V compound semiconductors, which he noted "have become respectable". Originally from England, at the time he was working at Westinghouse Research Labs, in Pittsburg. He is now retired. He attributed the poem below to Nostradamus, there was no title offered. We reprint it below, with permission of the IEEE:

We use an elemental trick
With gallium and arsenic
To make the crystals that we need;
A fabrication line to feed.

We beat them up until they fuse,
A pressure cooker's what we use.
We put a perfect crystal in
And then we draw it out again.

And so a bigger crystal grows
For hours and hours and no one knows
Exactly what it's going to be
Until it's finished. It's O.D.

Is constant or approximate
And some of us can hardly wait
Until to cylinder it's ground
And cut in slices almost round.

And polished 'til you see your face
Of any defects there's no trace.
And now the part the growers hate
We have to start to fabricate.

We take the slices so pristine
And give them just an extra clean.
We put them into gases pure
And elevate their temperature;

Deposit nitride on their face
To stop the loss of any trace
Of arsenic, which if would go
Would make the concentration low.

Now phosphor glass is carefully
Added and patterned so that we
Selectively our ions may place,
Not in the fire, but in their space

Appointed by designers skill
To force the currents to fulfill
The power requirement that's expected
(Slices that don't are soon rejected.)

And now the activation's checked
To show us what we may expect
We put the ohmic contacts down
With royal metals, like a crown

With lots of gold and platinum
And don't forget germanium.
Nickel's last and we have heaven
Specifically at minus seven.

We probe the chips to see if we
Have currents that may constant be
Within a few percent or so
And if they are, then on we go

To the next step, which is the gate
So small we're forced to speculate
Not whether we have made it tall
But rather if it's there at all.

The gate contains titanium
And gold, of course, and platinum.
The opening for the gate recessed,
A treatment, we have found, is best

To make devices that exceed
In yield, in power, and in speed.
The wafers now with care we take,
We don't want them to fall and break.

We saw them up to little dice
And everything is looking nice.
We toast success, we raise our cup
We bond them down, then blow them up.

Copyright © 1984 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices.

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Author : Mike "MC" Driver