Semiconductor devices are utilized in discrete devices and integrated circuits, which are made of a just few, to billions of devices fabricated and adjoined on a float zone wafer. There are different kinds of semiconductor device materials available today, from silicon to germanium to gallium arsenide, but silicon is the most widely used material among them. Here we’ll discuss the different semiconductor device materials.
Silicon has a lower raw material cost and is relatively simpler to process compared to other semiconductor materials, which is why it's widely used in most semiconductor devices. Its temperature range is also useful for high-powered devices.A float zone wafer is made from silicon that is processed using the float zone method. What's great about this type of wafer is that it has a low concentration of impurities and high-temperature efficiency, which helps minimize defects making them advantageous to use for applications such as discrete power devices, RF chips, highly efficient solar cells, and other optical products.
Before silicon, Germanium used to be the most widely used semiconductor material. But because of its thermal sensitivity, a lot of wafer manufacturers shy away from using it for high-powered applications and other high-frequency devices. Today, germanium is combined with silicon to use in high-speed devices.
GaAs is also extensively used in high-speed devices, but mass-producing it can be costly. This is because of how difficult forming large-diameter bowls of this material can be, limiting the wafer size produced.
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