Semiconductor Wafer

June 19, 2015, anysilicon

A semiconductor wafer or wafer for electronics manufacturers is a specialty product that’s usually made of silicon. These wafers find their way into a number of different integrated circuits and electronic devices. They are also used in the production of solar panels for example.

Semiconductor wafers work as substrate in electronics specifically as a semiconductor. Electronic devices such as transistors and circuits can then be etched or deposited into the wafer to form circuit boards and other electronic components.

Some of the first companies were manufacturing silicon wafers in the 1960s and the first patent was actually created in 1965 by an IBM engineer.

A semiconductor wafer is usually formed with a highly pure crystalline material like silicon. These wafers need to be free of defects otherwise this can affect the quality of the electronic device that is produced using the wafer. Usually a wafer also needs to be cleaned using some type of weak acid to ensure that all unwanted particles have been taken off.

Throughout the industry standard semiconductor wafers usually range from 1 inch to 11.8 inches. Fabrication plants can mass produce these wafers to a specific size and shape depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. There is new research forming to not only reduce the thickness required for these semi conductor wafers but also to increase the size and mechanical strength of the wafers as well. This could have untold applications when it comes to producing larger solar cells, reducing material costs and more.

Although it may take time to continue developing this technology we find semiconductor wafers in a variety of different devices. Future research and improvements as well as cost savings could actually help us to reduce the money that we spend on solar panels and solar energy which could in turn reduce the cost of renewable energy.