Since 2004, we have participated in Girls' Day every year and are pleased with the ongoing interest. Under the motto "Small but powerful - innovations with microwaves and light", schoolgirls in grades five to ten can take a look behind the scenes of research and development.
In a short opening lecture, we introduce the research areas of the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut. Afterwards, we divide the group to get to know some stations in the institute in smaller groups. In this way, the students gain insights into typical processes and steps in the manufacturing of semiconductor components and conduct experiments themselves.
In addition to a tour of the institute, the schoolgirls conduct practical experiments themselves. In the "silhouettes with diode lasers" they learn how powerful the tiny lasers from FBH are by burning patterns (lines, dots) into a photo plate. Fingertip feeling is required in the laser maze, where a laser beam is guided through lenses and mirrors. In wafer handling, the students learn how to handle the ultra-thin wafers. These wafers are the starting material for sand-grain-sized lasers or tiny high-frequency components that are researched and developed at FBH. A wide variety of material layers, often only a few atomic layers thick, are applied to the wafers and then structured by etching or metallization processes - until a semiconductor component is created: a laser, a high-frequency circuit or a transistor. The final look through the microscope shows how small the structures of the powerful chips really are.
How does a laser work? (in German)
In issue 419 (Nov. 2010), the Abrafaxe and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut briefly explain how a laser works and what it is used for: (Copyright: Mosaik-Comic, Steinchen für Steinchen Verlag)