Using Germanium Wafers as Semiconductors


October 6, 2020

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Before silicon became the standard, the first decade of semiconductor electronics was based on germanium (Ge).  A Germanium wafer has demonstrated strong crystallographic and electric properties, making them excellent semiconductors for space applications, fiber-optics systems, and more. In this article, we will explore some of the most common applications for germanium wafers in electronic and integrated circuits.

What is a Germanium Wafer?

Where are Germanium Wafers Widely Used?

High-Performance Infrared Imaging Systems

Germanium is in demand for high-speed infrared imaging systems. It is an excellent material for the production of lens and window components. It’s also the preferred material for low power imaging systems because of its high refractive index, meaning that light passes through the material particularly fast. Furthermore, this characteristic of Ge allows the least surface curvature and optical abnormalities. This eliminates the need for alteration after the imaging systems have been fully developed.

Lenses and Windows in IR Systems

Germanium is an ideal material to create lenses and windows for IR systems, especially those operating in the 2 um-12 um range. However, the transmission of the system is very temperature sensitive. Germanium is inert, solid, and sturdy, so its performance cannot be altered by environmental factors.

Attenuated Total Reflection Prisms for Spectroscopy

Germanium makes a powerful natural beam splitter. Therefore, it does not need any coatings to achieve optimal performance. That is why it is perfect for the manufacturing of ATR prisms for spectroscopy. A germanium wafer also makes a reliable substrate (underlying surface material) for the manufacturing of optical filters.

High-speed Integrated Circuits

Germanium and silicon are among the most popular semiconductor materials for high-speed ICs and wireless communications devices. Germanium wafers have proven to be effective due to their high-speed properties, low-cost manufacturing, and established production techniques.

Solar Panels

A germanium wafer is an excellent substrate for high-efficiency multijunction photovoltaic cells which makes them ideal for the production of solar panels. Germanium-based LEDs are used for automobile headlights and backlight for LCD screens as well.

How can I use Germanium Wafers as semiconductors?

Looking for a Germanium Wafer?

As you can see, germanium wafers are used for a wide range of applications. Therefore, if you are looking for high-quality germanium wafers at a reasonable price, get them from Wafer World! At Wafer World, we provide a variety of high-quality wafers for all you wafer-needs. Contact us for inquires!