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7.2 Film properties

In practice, we can hardly ever use just the fastest technique to put some material down onto the wafer. Before deciding how to deposit a particular layer, we must consider which film properties are important for the function of the device. The commonest requirements relate to uniformity, step coverage, composition, micro structure and stress. We shall consider each of these in detail.


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8 Summary

We have seen how a solution falls into one of three categories (innovation by context, innovation by development, and routine solution) according to the need that drives it. Furthermore, the need is shown to be the point of reference that should be kept in sight throughout the process of finding solutions. Unless the need is accurately stated, the ideal solution cannot be obtained – a case of ‘garbage in, garbage out’.

We have examined the process of finding a solution step by ste
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7.4 The impact of technology on society

Engineering is apparently driven by the needs of society. The technology that results, in turn, drives other changes in our everyday lives. One of the basic needs identified in Section 2 was for shelter. There are many fine examples of long-surviving structures such as pyramids, aqueducts, bridges, walls, functional buildings, and so on. Remarkably these constructions were completed without the depth of analysis and understanding that is available today (though we don't necessarily know much
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7.3 Ethics and safety

A practising engineer makes ethical decisions, with moral and physical implications of varying magnitudes, on a daily basis. Examples of ethical dilemmas are limitless, ranging from the engineer who takes home the odd pen, file or discarded paper ‘for the children’, to the engineer who signs off a project without checking the details and identifying a simple arithmetic error of magnitude. The implications of either may be negligible – such as where the cost is more than compensated in u
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4.4.1 Selecting the best candidate

Assuming there is more than one likely looking candidate solution, we need to make a selection now so that we don't waste time taking all the candidates through the next steps, which become progressively more expensive and time-consuming. The rigour and formality of this step is very variable, but in general all schemes boil down to the same process you might use to choose some consumer item, such as a TV set. You would have a list of criteria that are important to you, and you would evaluate
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • View solutions as belonging to particular categories, broadly classified as:

  • innovation by context

  • innovation by practice

  • routine.

  • See how external factors affect engineering projects, and appreciate the range of engineering involved in meeting the basic needs of our society.

  • Recognise and apply a range of problem-solving techniques fr
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References

Further reading and resources
Collapse at Kinzua: Evidence for Tay on open2.net.
Forensic engineering: the Tay Bridge disaster on open2.net.
Lewis, PR and Reynolds, K (2002) ‘Forensic engineering: a reappraisal of the Tay Bridge disaster’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 287–98.
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6.1 New Tay Bridge

So the collapse of the bridge was probably caused by premature fracture of the lugs, perhaps aided by fatigue (Input 10). Once the wind braces had been lost, the stability of the piers was drastically reduced because each trio of columns became separated (Figure 47). It only needed a further small sway to cau
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Myths persist

Many myths still surround the Tay Bridge disaster, the most pervasive being it was brought down by wind action alone. Rothery's report (see Paper 3) should dispel that particular myth, in addition to the numerous examples shown in this unit of the way the structure had deteriorated by the time of the storm in late 1879.

Click 'View document' below to open Paper 3 (35 pages, 39 MB).

5.12 Pole and Stewart report

Apparently prepared using the same methodology as Law, Pole and Stewart produced a report that calculated the loads at various points in the bridge under live locomotive loads and wind loading at various pressures. Stewart was employed by Bouch to perform the original design calculations for the bridge, while Pole was brought in as an independent expert. He had extensive experience of use of different materials in bridges, and indeed, had written a standard text book for engineers on the subj
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3.4 Building the bridge

The contract for the bridge was won by the firm of Charles de Bergue, and a contract signed on 8 May 1871, whereby the contractor undertook to have the bridge ready for traffic in three years at a price of £217 000. In the event the bridge was opened on 31 May 1878, by which time it had cost £300 000.

Work started on the south bank of the Tay, with piers laid on to solid rock foundations. As the piers advanced into the estuary, foundations needed to be sunk onto the river bed, and cai
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2.3 Railways in Britain

The railway age started with attempts to make a steam engine small enough to be fitted to a wagon for hauling coal at collieries, the wheels moving on a wooden or iron rail for guidance. Improvements to the drive mechanism led directly to the Locomotion designed by George Stephenson, and the opening of the first passenger and goods service for the 27 miles between Stockton and Darlington in County Durham. It was opened in 1825 and was quickly followed in 1830 by a line between Manchest
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Introduction

This unit focuses on the Forth Road Bridge that connects Edinburgh with Fife. This suspension bridge continues to face a number of problems regarding its deteriorating condition. The short video included in this unit illustrates some of the major structural issues facing bridges and examines some of the proposed changes to the use of the Forth Road Bridge to help increase its lifespan.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Author(s): The Open University

10.3 The decibel as a measure of sound amplitude

As I mentioned earlier, because a decibel is a way of expressing a ratio, it cannot by itself express the absolute size of anything. To express absolute values it must be referred to a fixed reference quantity, against which whatever is being measured can be compared. In the context of acoustics the reference used is the lower limit of audibility – the threshold of audibility. This varies from person to person, but has a nominal value that can be expressed as a pressure wave with an
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10.1 Introduction

For a variety of reasons, not least the very wide dynamic range of human hearing, the decibel (symbol dB) is often used as a unit for the amplitude of sound waves. The decibel is also used in other contexts, such as specifying the amplification of amplifiers or the degree to which a signal is affected by noise. In the context of sound, the use of the decibel as a unit captures something of the subjective impression of the way loudness changes with amplitude.

The decibel unit has
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7.1 The subjective experience

Two of the properties of sound that we have examined from an objective stance, frequency and amplitude, have a fundamental importance to our appreciation of sound and music. In this section I want to look more closely at the subjective interpretation of these two properties of sound. I should stress that I am talking about sine-wave sounds in this section. The complex, non-sinusoidal sounds encountered in music add extra layers of complexity to the relationships I am discussing here.

Ke
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4.6 Appreciating some implications for practice

I think for most people, the CSA case study would be experienced as a complex situation. If so this would be a good example of perceived complexity. Remember though, if you engaged with it as if it were a difficulty, just as the government minister did in Activity 42, you would not d
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2.5 Review

The title of this unit could have been Juggling with complexity: searching for system. This title seemed to capture something essential about the unit. Juggling is a rich metaphor and will be used explicitly in Part 3. But it also carries the idea of a skill that needs to be practised and that might seem incredibly awkward to begin with. You may find this idea helpful as you review your work in Part 1. Juggling is also a skill that, once practised, becomes second nature. This too may b
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References

Basalla, G. (1988) The Evolution of Technology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Baylis, T. (2000) Clock This: My Life as an Inventor, London, Headline.
Bell, D. (1988) ‘The third technological revolution and its possible socio-economic consequences’ (third annual faculty lecture), Salford, University of Salford.
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