A pinhole is a small hole, usually made by pressing a thin, pointed object such as a pin through an easily penetrated material such as a fabric or a very thin layer of metal. Similar holes made by other means are also often called pinholes. Pinholes may be intentionally made for various reasons. For example, in optics pinholes are used as apertures to select certain rays of light. This is used in pinhole cameras to form an image without the use of a lens. Pinholes on produce packaging have been used to control the atmosphere and relative humidity within the packaging.
In many fields, however, pinholes are a harmful and unwanted side-effect of manufacturing processes. For example, in the assembly of microcircuits, pinholes in the dielectric insulator layer coating the circuit can cause the circuit to fail. Therefore, "To avoid pinholes that might protrude through the entire thickness of the dielectric layer, it is a common practice to screen several layers of dielectric with drying and firing after each screening", thereby preventing the pinholes from becoming continuous.