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Name: Ron S.
Status: other
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Monday, September 30, 2002

How big is 13 microns? I am trying to understand how big the wires are in the new computer chips say atoms wide for example.

1 micron = 1 000 000th of a metre [its proper French spelling] or, approximately, 0.00003937 inches; hence 13 microns = 13 times that, approximately 0.0005118 inches.

Howard Barnes.

A micron is 1 millionth of a meter, 10-6 or 10-3 of a millimeter. Very tiny. It is abbreviated with the greek letter for M, or the mu.

Van Hoeck

Thirteen microns is a little bigger than 1/100 of a millimeter. It's much, much bigger than an atom is wide. The wavelength of red light is a little shorter than a micron. The smallest atoms are about two ngstroms in diameter. An ngstrom is 1/10,000 of a micron.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Director of Academic Programs
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois

1 meter = 10^12 picometers = 10^9 nanometers = 10^6 micrometers (microns). A typical atomic radius is of the order of 100 picometers. The atomic radius of gold (Au) for example is listed as 144 picometers, silicon is 117 picometers. So 13 microns (micrometers) is quite large compared to the typical size of atoms.

Vince Calder

I think it would be interesting to note that the gentleman asking the question asks how big 13 microns is, in reference to the wire interconnects of today's computer chips. What I think he meant to ask is how big 0.13 microns is, as that is the current standard line width in computer chips currently in production. If this is noted in the answer, it would really illustrate how amazing chip technology is that we can build chips that house many millions of transistors with feature sizes so miniscule.

Tergel Unger

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