Why is Silicon Used for Electronic Devices?

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August 31, 2016

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There are few things that are more complex than electronic devices. Despite this, the simple element silicon (Si) is the basis for most electronics today. Silicon, and the silicon wafers they are made into, power everything from supercomputers to smart phones to air microwave ovens. This all raises a very important question: why silicon?Why is Silicon Used?Silicon is used for electronic devices because it is an element with very special properties. One of it’s most important properties is that it is a semiconductor. This means that it conducts electricity under some conditions and acts as an insulator under others. Silicon’s electrical properties can be modified through a process called doping. These characteristics make it an ideal material for making transistors that amplify electrical signals.Silicon’s properties are not the only reason why it is ideal for electronic devices. Silicon is also an abundant element on Earth. It is even the most common element in the Earth’s crust. The abundance of Si allows it to be extremely affordable and appealing. It is no wonder why silicon has become the basis of memory chips, computer processors, transistors, and all other electronics.What Other Elements Used for Electronic Devices? Silicon is not the only element used for electronic devices. Some applications todays use other more specialized semiconductors, such as Gallium Nitride (GaN). Electrons in GaN move very quickly and the bonds are very tight. This allows it to be operated at higher voltages and more appealing for high-speed high-power transistors for wireless applications. Despite this, Silicon still reigns supreme. Engineers have also always found ways to keep improving silicon devices even when it seemed impossible, so every year the benefits of using silicon seem to grow.Without silicon and the silicon wafers they are manufactured into, most of the electronic devices you use everyday wouldn’t be possible. If you need silicon wafers, Wafer World can help. As leaders in our industry, we have the expertise and capability to produce and deliver the highest quality silicon wafer products. Connect with our silicon wafer manufacturing company online or give us a call at 561-842-4441 today!