Thin Silicon Wafers | How Computer Chips are Created


January 2, 2019

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Computer chips and other types of thin silicon wafers are all around us. They play a big role in pretty much every type of technology across all types of industry. Knowing how they are made and what their application is can help you find the right wafer for your next project.

The Process

Making computer chips is an important process that is broken down into six parts:

  • Sand
  • Silicon Ingot
  • Cut Wafers
  • Photolithography
  • Etching
  • Electroplating

The first step of the process involves a special sand called silica. This fine sand is made up of silicon dioxide and is used as the base material for semiconductor manufacturing. It must be purified before it can be used. After that happens, the silica is melted and shaped to create the silicon ingot. This process is repeated until it is completely purified and filtered. Once that is completed, the silicon ingot is cut into wafers. They are cut as thin as possible while still maintaining their integrity. Following that process, a layer of photoresist is applied and then exposed to UV light. This process is known as photolithography.Finally, the etching and electroplating take place. Etching involves making a pattern of hard material and applying it to the wafer itself. After this is done, only the thin silicon ridges are left. Electroplating is the last step and involves applying an insulation layer to the surface of the near-finished transistor. Three holes are etched into it, which allows for the electroplating to be performed.

Results and Applications

This process results in a very powerful computer chip that can be applied to many different areas and industries. You can find these types of chips in things like:

  • Automobiles
  • Cell phones
  • Home appliances
  • RFID tags
  • Video game counsels
  • And much, much more

Computer chips are all around you and will only become more prevalent as technology is further assimilated into your daily life.

What are thin silicon wafers?

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