More than 90% of the earth's crust is composed of Silica or Silicate, making silicon the second most common element on earth. Silicon is found throughout both nature and industry. It’s most important use though, might be in the technology sector where it is the principal platform for semiconductor devices. There are several different ways it can be fabricated though. Here are some of the different fabrication methods involved in the silicon wafer manufacturing process.
The gradient freeze technique is a static technique where the melt is gradually solidified by the movement of a temperature gradient along the melt. In this technique, a sealed tube holds the starting materials before the materials are separated.
In this method, the furnace is moved along the length of the quartz tube so that the solidification of the melt starting from the seed crystal is achieved as the seed moved from the hotter to the colder section of the furnace. The shape of the crystal is constrained by the walls of the tube. Significantly lower thermal stresses can be obtained in this technique than in others.
With the vertical gradient freeze technique, the crucible and furnace are kept stationary. The growth is achieved by slowly cooling the melt in an appropriate temperature gradient. One of the biggest advantages of this method is the reduced axial and radial temperature gradients. This allows for low dislocation densities.
The vertical Bridgeman method takes place when the quartz growth contains the seed in a well at the bottom and polycrystalline material above it. The initial charge and a portion of the seed is melted and the crucible is lowered slowly into the bottom section of the furnace.
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