The open source Handbook of Microfabrication and Microtechnology
The Wikibook on Microtechnology has been started with the intention to gather information in one place about the various applications, fabrication methods and systems to provide students, researchers and everyone else an open-source handbook and overview guide.
Material is continuously being added to this book -join the effort to create it!
Silicon is the traditional microfabrication material for making computer chips and other electronic circuits. A wealth of other material types are being increasingly used for lab-on-a-chip systems and cheap disposable circuits.
Microfabrication is largely concerned with making microchips by batch processing silicon (and an increasing number of different materials) wafers into individual chips in a cleanroom facility. Cleanrooms are used because dust must be avoided. The parts of a microchip are much smaller than the average dust particle, and a single particle can wreak havoc in a sensitive process (not only making a fault at some point on the wafer, but also contaminating process equipment) The processes can roughly be divided into Additive and etching processes that wither add or remove material, and lithography that creates patterns on the surface.
Reading this, you are quite used to your computer which is based on microelectronics, you access the internet which would not work well without photonics. The airbag sensor in you car is a MEMS devices and shortly you will also find lab-on-a-chip devices in your everyday life.