Have you ever wondered why float zone (FZ) wafers are considered the best alternative to Czochralski (CZ) wafers? An FZ wafer has excellent temperature stability and high purity. If your next project requires wafers that offer such superior characteristics, you’ll want to take a closer look at these interesting facts about the popular float zone wafers.
As its name suggests, float zone wafers are created via the float zone method. This involves the use of a technique that’s best described as a crucible-free crystal growth process.During the process, a molten zone is placed between two vertically positioned solid rods through its own surface tension. The seed crystal is dipped into one end of the molten zone toward the feedstock to grow a crystal.
Thanks to a chemist named Henry Theurer, who developed a variation on the zone refining technique in 1955, the float zone method came to be. Since this is performed with the use of a closed vessel, the chances of contaminating the silicon are incredibly slim. As a result, one of the float zone wafers’ best features is their high pure silicon concentration that runs through a vertical zone during the melting process.
Float zone wafers are known to have incredibly low carbon and oxygen impurities. They only have light impurities that are intentionally added during the growth stage. One of these light impurities is nitrogen, which works to improve the wafers’ mechanical power and prevent micro defects in the substrates.
Since float zone wafers are exceptionally transparent to radiations such as terahertz, they’re usually used in power devices and detector applications. These compactable wafers are specifically designed to produce lenses, RF devices, rectifiers, diodes, IGBTs, high-efficiency solar cells, and various optical products.
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