Si Wafer | Wafer Qualities and Their Significance


January 30, 2020

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A Si wafer plays an important role in our daily lives. It is the key component behind our cellphones, personal computers, TVs, and most, if not all, of our devices and technologies. Without it, our lives wouldn’t be as convenient and as luxurious as it is today. In this article, we will discuss to you Si wafer qualities and its significance.

what is a si wafer?

What are the Proper Silicon Wafer Qualities?

Made from Highly Pure Crystalline Material

A proper silicon wafer is made from highly pure, defect-free single crystalline material. It is processed through, either, CZ or FZ method. The crystal is then doped to change it into an extrinsic semiconductor of either n-type or p-type. It needs to be made from highly pure materials to guarantee minimal defects.

Defect Free

They must be defect-free too. A wafer goes through a series of processes and inspections to guarantee that there are no contaminants or micro defects present on a wafer's surface. Examples of defects on a wafer's surface are chipping, silicon dust contamination, cracks, metallization peel off, uneven thickness, straight dislocations, Frenkel defects, vacancy defects, and more. Any defect present on a wafer can affect its performance and efficiency.

Smooth Mirror Finish

Lastly, a wafer must have a smooth mirror finish, thus the importance of polishing and wafer cleaning steps. A smooth and mirror finish allows a wafer to perform at optimal speed. To achieve a smooth mirror finish, a wafer needs to go through-wafer polishing. The process involves using polishing pads and liquid diamond slurry. The wafer is then drawn near to a rotating platen where the polishing pads are attached. This process also helps flatten a wafer.

Variety of Wafer Size

Unlike before, wafers today are available in a variety of diameters, from 25.4 mm to 300 mm. The size of wafers has gradually increased over the years to improve throughput while reducing cost. Wafer thickness also dictates its mechanical strength and capacity. A wafer must be thick enough to support its weight without breaking during processing.

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