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The use of thick-film technology to manufacture electronic circuits and discrete passive components continues to grow at a rapid rate worldwide. When applied to hybrid microcircuits, it can be viewed as a means of packaging active devices, spanning the gap between monolithic integrated circuit chips and printed circuit boards with attached active and passive components. The strength of the thick-film approach is a consequence of function, size, and unit cost trade-offs; advances in materials have played a major role relative to each of these factors. Thick-film materials are developed to meet needs defined by electronic circuit design and process engineers. A general understanding of thick films is provided from a materials standpoint, particularly for the new engineer. Background is developed for a basic, yet simple, understanding of the components that make up resistor, conductor, and dielectric compositions, of processing, and of the properties of the final thick-film composite structures.