Jeri Makes Integrated Circuits

[Jeri Ellsworth] made this silicon inverter at home, by hand. It took her two years to get the process figured out and achieve something we didn’t think was possible. The complexity of manufacture, and the wide range of tools and materials needed seem insurmountable but she did it anyway. Her home chip fab Flickr set is well commented and details her work area and part of the processing. If you’re hurting for more check out her 40 minute Metalab talk which we’ve embedded after the break.

If her name sounds familiar but you just can’t place it you may know her from The Fatman and Circuit Girl. We’ve also featured some of her hacks, such as her Pinball challenge against [Ben Heckendorn], and her giant Etch-a-Sketch.


[Thanks Deyjavont]

38 thoughts on “Jeri Makes Integrated Circuits

  1. Actually, Jeri has already built a homemade fusion reactor in her lab. She is just not able to reveal this as of yet because she doesn’t want to disrupt the current time continuum. Also, she is part cyborg and can shoot lasers from her eyes.

    Don’t mess with Jeri.

  2. Jeri is my queen now. /had/

    Seriously, I already had an idea of making Transistors myself. She is a bit older and have more time for it. Dammit, need to Finnish school or drop out like she did…

  3. Goddess Number three has arrived behind Marilyn Mach Vos Savant and Kim Komando. I noticed no sexist BS yet. I respect feminism of this sort; not the Hillary psycho-slut variety. Shirley Muldowney and Marie Curie(RIP) and my Grandmother(world’s least neurotic person EVER) run rings around the Bella Abzugs and that other sow whose name escapes me(the one who fights gun ownersip and hired an armed guard for her kid).
    When a person’s irrelevant characteristics affect a leader’s decisions about manning(sic) a position, the resultant lack of fullest efficiency will impose restrictions on the successful completion of the project. If Jackie Robinson had not joined his team they would have finished in a lower position. Tie your own legs with sexism or racism, etc; don’t force others to emulate stupidity. Apartheid forced nonracists to subsidize the evil and stupid racists in SA.
    BTW does M M v S get royalties from Mach numbers? I believe her uncle was honored by that term.

  4. I swear I saw this on HAD before, but I couldn’t find it. So I thought it best to submit it to HAD for the rest of you folks to see that haven’t found out you can make your OWN transistors!
    She did mention that you can get the Si wafers on ebay for relatively cheap. Anyone up to the challenge? (I have kids at home so I dont want to play around with boron and phosphorus such as BCl3 and POCl3)

    Next is homemade ICs. atmel-at-home would be the name of the homemade uC kit

  5. THIS! IS! What I come to HAD for. Sometimes I think about the fact that though I am able to build things from parts, what would happen if I was in a situation where I was cut off from all resources. Would I have the knowledge to build simple devices out of raw materials around. I never though when I was younger that chemistry would be useful for me because I was interested in electronics, yes, short-sighted of me, batteries and all the recent advancements in power conversion techniques and my personal interest in learning to make parts from raw materials is forcing me to “kick the books” again :)
    It’s going to be great to make a radio with the kids completely from raw household items and show them that electronics is all around them in many ways. And you don’t need to rely on multi-million dollar fab to create something. Sorry for ramlbing… :)

  6. @Roman Dulgarov I actually really like all the stories some good HAD articles get in the Comments.
    It gives me an idea that I’m not the only person wanting to make thing from scratch.

    To learn, to create, to enjoy. Just because we can!

  7. impressive work :)

    i mentioned this to someone today and they were amazed that it was possible to build a working chip at all, even with lab equipment.

    on a side note, SiC is fun to play with, and locating interesting negative resistance/LED/etc areas is just a matter of trial and error.

  8. google “ice etching lithography”
    seems that with a simple electron beam, vacuum chamber and a Peltier module stack you could build semiconductors with no expensive masks or other show stoppers.
    the only major problem is that the chamber has to be pumped back down once the ice melts, but there is probably a a workaround.

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