The Germanium Wafer’s Comeback into the Semiconductor Industry


April 22, 2020

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A germanium wafer has exceptional crystallographic properties. It also has excellent electric properties, which makes it suitable for various applications, including high power devices. It’s lightweight yet mechanically strong, making it a very effective semiconductor. It used to be the number one semiconductor material used before silicon, but it’s making a comeback in the semiconductor industry today.

What is a germanium wafer?

What Do I Need to Know About the Germanium Wafer Comeback?

The History of Germanium

It was during the late 19th century when germanium was first identified and utilized by a German chemist named Clemens Winkler. Germanium was thought to be a poorly conducting metal until its semiconducting properties were used in World War II.It is capable of blocking and permitting the flow of current. During the postwar years, germanium wafer-based solid-state devices were very popular. The production increased from a few hundred pounds to over 45 metric tons. But over time, germanium was slowly replaced with silicon.

Modern Use of Germanium

Today, several chipmakers are considering using germanium wafers instead of silicon for the production of transistors. Germanium wafers can move current at better rates, allowing engineers to build faster, effective, and more energy-efficient circuits. This means that our smartphones, computers, and other laptops can become faster and better in the years to come.

The Comeback

For a long time, wafer manufacturers were invested in finding alternative channels by using III-V semiconductor materials. Unfortunately, it was discovered that transistors made from III-V materials have fundamental physical limitations, were costly to manufacture, and are difficult to integrate with the current technology.So, they turned their attention to germanium. It was, later on, discovered that germanium makes a great material in the production of transistors. It also isn’t difficult to integrate with our existing technology. Transistors that use a combination of silicon and germanium showed remarkable results when it comes to performance.

What are germanium wafer semiconductors?

Want to Learn More About Germanium Wafer Uses?

Germanium wafer is making a comeback in the semiconductor industry. If you’re looking for a high-quality product, you can find them at Wafer World! For more information, contact us today to learn more!

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