A Guide to Surface Specifications for Silicon Wafers


March 20, 2020

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In silicon manufacturing, wafers must meet stringent requirements, including surface specifications, to guarantee the quality and reliability of the wafers. These wafers are where integrated circuits and semiconductor devices will be built on. Poor quality wafers mean poor output, which has a domino effect on all forms of technology and high-tech systems. Here you can learn about the surface specifications for silicon wafers.

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What are the Surface Specifications for Silicon Wafers?


Wafer flatness refers to the maximum inconsistency from peak to valley shown by a wafer as measured with regards to a reference plane. A wafer's flatness can be measured using a flatness measuring laser or other industry-approved methods. A wafer must have wafer fatness of 1-3 microns.

Particle Density

Particle density refers to the number of particles present per unit area of a wafer. Optical microscopy or automatic surface scanners can determine the precise amount of the particle present per unit area. The lesser the particle density, the more likely your wafers are going to be defect-free.


Cracks refer to a fracture that spreads to a wafer's surface. This is usually caused by an impact of sharp features of the component against the wafer. A good quality wafer must not contain any cracks.

Saw Marks

Saw marks refer to the mechanical damage caused by the saw blade during the slicing process. Fortunately, lapping can help get rid of the saw marks on a wafer’s surface.

Saucer Pits

Saucer Pits refer to microscopic etch pits that were created during chemical etching or oxide stripping. In some applications, the presence of saucer pits is tolerable as long as its less than 100 per square cm.

Other Surface Defects

During silicon manufacturing, a wafer can acquire many other surface defects such as strains, streaks, residues, dimples, mounds, and smudges.

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Ready to Learn More About Silicon Manufacturing?

Silicon manufacturing has its checks and balances to guarantee that the wafers produced pass all requirements, including surface specifications. At Wafer World, we offer a wide variety of quality wafers. Contact us for inquires!

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