The Process of Flat or Notch Grinding in Germanium Wafer Fabrication


May 18, 2020

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A germanium wafer is used in a variety of applications, from solar cells, infrared optics, to sensors. It possesses unique and excellent crystallographic and electric properties that make it suitable for high power and high-efficiency applications. Germanium wafers, just like any other wafers, go through several processes, including flat or notch grinding. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about notch grinding.

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What is the Process of Flat or Notch Grinding in Germanium Wafer Fabrication?

Germanium Wafer Fabrication can be Summarized into Five Steps:

  • The first step involves refining a germanium material through the zone refining method to create highly pure germanium.
  • This highly pure germanium will then be processed through the CZ method to produce a highly pure germanium crystal.
  • This crystal will then be further processed to create a germanium wafer.
  • After this, the wafer is then cleaned and inspected for any defects. And then polished to achieve customer requirements.
  • The wafer is then packed in a single wafer container under a nitrogen atmosphere clean room.

Flat or Notch Grinding

Flat or notch grinding comes in during the 2nd step. When the germanium crystal is being generated. Ge wafers bear some kind of physical evidence regarding its crystallographic orientation the dopant type it carries. The evidence is shown by precisely grinding a notched or one or two flat sections on the ingot along with a crystallographic orientation. The flat section that determines the crystallographic orientation is called the primary flat, while the second one is called the secondary flat. The crystallographic orientation of the ingot is carried out through x-ray goniometry first before the flat or notch grinding is done. After the orientation, the block of germanium is moved to the grinder and debilitated. After this, the flat or notch is reduced to the desired dimension.

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