Introduction

This unit is adapted from the Open University course Business operations: delivering value (T883_1), which is about the essence of any enterprise – that core set of processes needed to convert various resources (such as materials, money and the effort of people) into outputs (such as manufactured goods and/or delivered services) that provide value to customers and other stakeholders. T
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7.4.3 Chemical vapour deposition (CVD)

If step coverage or equipment cost is more critical than purity, then PVD is supplanted by CVD.

There are many variants on the chemical vapour deposition technique, but the concept is simple: gases adsorb onto the wafer surface where a chemical reaction forms a solid product. Any other products are gases, or at least volatile liquids, and are pumped away.

There is one obvious restriction: the wafer surface must be the only place where the reaction can occur. If it is not, particle
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7.3.6 Laser ablation deposition

Another close cousin to sputter deposition is laser ablation deposition. Ion bombardment of the target is replaced by a focused pulse of light from an ultraviolet laser. Although each pulse may carry only 1 J of energy, this is delivered within 1 ns to a 1 mm spot on the target surface. This represents an astonishing power density and the target surface explodes into vapour that can be caught on the waiting wafer surface. It is vital to scan the focus point across the target surface or you wi
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7.3.5 Ion beam deposition

PVD still has some limitations, however. It must operate in a gaseous atmosphere (to provide the plasma) so is not well suited to the long-throw, directional line-of-sight mode accessible to low-pressure evaporation. Also, if magnets behind the target are used to generate a magnetic field for magnetron sputtering the technique cannot be easily used to deposit magnetic metals such as nickel and cobalt, owing to the influence from the magnetic field on the deposition process.

In an altern
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4.3 PZT

The above requirements lead us to a range of ceramic materials with crystalline structure. One such material is lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is an oxide alloy of lead, zirconium and titanium. It is often used in a specific composition (sometimes with additives) in order to achieve a particular crystal structure and the desired piezoelectric response. Author(s): The Open University

4.2 The piezoelectric effect at the atomic scale

It has been mentioned above that by changing the state of polarisation of a piezoelectric material we can generate movement, and vice versa. Let's examine a little more deeply what is meant by ‘state of polarisation’ and how we can maximise its effect to get the best out of electrically controlled micro-actuators.

In order to electrically polarise a material we need, by definition, to cause a separation of charges within the material. The more we can do this the greater the d
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3.2 The principles of scanning probe microscopes

Scanning probe microscopy is a term that is applied to a set of imaging methods based on a common element: a fine stylus. In many ways, what scanning probe microscopes do is similar to what a gramophone does. A gramophone stylus scans a spiral groove (by travelling along it) on which information has been encoded in the form of undulations in the groove wall. Side-to-side and up-and-down movements of the stylus (which is mounted on one end of a rod supported and pivoted at its centre) as it fo
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3.1 Introduction

The atomic force microscope is a key visualisation tool for the ‘invisible’ world of micro and nano technology. Within it, right at the heart, is a probe tip that is itself a triumph of nanotechnology.

This section is going to begin with a fair amount of detail about how scanning probe microscopes of various types work, starting with a description of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). After that I want to concentrate on its close relative, the atomic force microscope. Then we
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1.4 Sensitivity

Since a biased MOS structure builds up a depletion region with an electric field similar to that in a p–n junction, it's worth thinking about what would happen if light were to be absorbed in an MOS capacitor, generating electron–hole pairs.

Exercise 2

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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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2.7 Music matters

There was little difference in sound quality between the phonograph cylinder and the gramophone disc. The limited frequency response of the acoustic recording and playback process restricted the sounds that could be reproduced. Instruments tended to be limited to brass and piano, and middle-register voices (alto and tenor) were the most suitable. So why did the disc succeed over the cylinder? The answer has little to do with technology and much more to do with the tenor Enrico Caruso and the
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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5.1 Phase and phase difference

In this section I am considering sine waves that have the same frequency, but are out of step with each other.

Suppose we have two detectors at fixed points, A and B. At this moment in time A is in a high pressure region and B in a low pressure region. If we were to look again shortly later B would now in a high pressure region and A in a low pressure region. The pressures at A and B would be out of step with each other. The pressure variation at B is not in phase with that at A. The ex
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1.1 Music and technology

Music technology in one guise or another is part of everybody's life, because music is a part of almost everybody's life. For instance, if you are an instrumental performer of music, professional or not, then your instrument, be it the harp or the rock'n'roll drums, will be the result of considerable technological expertise on the part of the instrument maker. On the other hand, if you are not a performer but like to listen to music, the chances are that most of your listening is done via a h
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5.10 Contextualising any particular systems approach

The capacity to put any systems approach into context is based on the ability of a practitioner to appreciate their own traditions of understanding and to make connections with the history of particular systems methods or methodologies, or to formulate their own. Above all, there is a need to learn from using them and to achieve outcomes that are agreed by those involved as worthwhile. This is a level of systems practice to which you can aspire.

At the beginning of Part 3, Section 5 I p
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18.4 MP3's diffusion depended on innovations in related areas

As well as being small and portable, MP3 devices have a number of additional competitive advantages. Digital compression allows the size of recordings to be significantly smaller without noticeable loss of sound quality so the capacity of portable devices can be much greater. Compatibility with computer systems means that music can be acquired from the internet or from a CD and easily manipulated into a sequence desired by the user.

Although MP3 players had been around for a number of y
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10.3.1 Cats eyes and road conditions

Sometimes the discontent comes from the fact that there isn't a product to satisfy a particular need. Percy Shaw was a road mender who was aware of the dangers of driving along unlit, often fog-bound, roads. One night in 1933 he was driving his car near his home in the north of England when his headlights were reflected in the eyes of a cat. This inspired him to invent the cat's-eye reflector that, when embedded at intervals in the centre of the road, reflected a vehicle's headlights and made
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4.1 An explanation

I will now elaborate on my answer from Exercise 1. I'm doing this because my internet search revealed more than I've written in the above answer, and to show that the invention of the telephone and its use by consumers is not as plain and simple as you may think. You we
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1 Part 1 Investigating the innovation process

In Part 1 I invite you to look around at the technological products in your home or at work and consider their development history and their impact on the lives of you and your family. I then define the key concepts associated with the process of invention, design, innovation and diffusion.


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Introduction

This unit aims to provide an understanding of invention, design, innovation and diffusion as ongoing processes with a range of factors affecting success at each stage. You will gain an understanding of the factors that motivate individuals and organisations to invent, and the creative process by which individuals come up with ideas for new inventions and designs, and you will gain an understanding of the obstacles that have to be overcome to bring an invention to market and the factors that i
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