Silicon wafers are found in pretty much everything we use on a daily basis. If you use any sort of technological product, there’s a very good chance it has a silicon wafer in it. While silicon wafers have always been round, not many people might know the reason for that. Let’s take a look at silicon wafer manufacturing and why silicon wafers are round.
One of the biggest reasons that wafers are round is because they are in that shape from the beginning. The silicon ingots that are used to grow the wafer are circular in shape. This is due to the process of dipping a seed crystal into molten silicon and rotating and slowly extracting as the crystal grows. This is also known as the popular Czochralski method. Since the product is already circular in shape, the wafers are cut into that same shape. While they could be cut into a different shape, it would waste silicon.
When a silicon wafer is further processed to produce an integrated circuit, it is subject to many chemical and physical processes. These processes must be done with extreme consistency and tolerance across the surface of the chip. When it comes to the shape of a wafer, more chips and integrated circuits can fit on a round wafer than on another shape.
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