Silicon Wafer Quality Control


May 11, 2015

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Silicon wafers are the very heart and soul of most technological manufacturing. Virtually everything that used a computer chip gets its chip from a silicon wafer. And these wafers have had to be developed for very exacting specifications because the latitude for silicon to actually work well as a semiconductor is actually quite small.In other words, it does take very much for a silicon wafer to be deemed unfit for use or manufacture, so there has to be a lot of care put into creating a silicon wafer. Let’s take a quick look into a couple of quality control issues involving these wafers – with the assurance that you will get the very best quality wafers from the inventory at

Silicon Wafers and Heat

There are tools available that you can use to check a silicon wafer for small defects, and one of those are excessive microcracks, which come from excessive heat during the manufacturing process. Silicon can crack as it deals with the heat in the process, and while a few are OK, if there are too many or the microcracks are a little too long, that could adversely affect the wafer and thus the effectiveness of the chips and semiconductors that come from it.

Silicon Wafers and Lasers

While silicon wafers are usually cut from a single-crystal silicon “chunk” by a precision diamond saw, lasers are usually used in some of the preparation of the wafer, especially in cutting to a precise specification or used for polishing and finishing of the surface. To make sure the wafer has survived the lasers, you should check around the edges of the wafer for any corner cracks that are longer than what is deemed acceptable by specification. Not only that, but – as mentioned below – even if the cracks aren’t that long, they could affect the strength of the wafer.

Silicon Wafers and Force

One other important quality-control test for silicon wafer is the pressure test – namely, how much force does it take to break a wafer? There is a standard level of force that a wafer must exceed, and this number is based on the average amount of force when force is applied to about 25 different places on the wafer to determine at what point it breaks. Going back to the lasers – cracks on the corners can weaken the integrity of the wafer, even if the cracks aren’t long. But if the wafer does not meet the force threshold, it is not of sufficient quality and reliability to be used in an industrial purpose.We are confident that our silicon wafers will stand up to all the quality-control checks mentioned here for microcracks, corner cracks and force to be the right kind of wafer to meet your needs. But if you insist on testing for yourself, feel free; then when you are convinced, check out our inventory and request a quote today.