A wafer is a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as a crystalline silicon, used in electronics for the fabrication of integrated circuits and in photovoltaics for conventional, wafer-based solar cells. Silicon is the most popular type of wafer. As a result, there are several different types of silicon wafers. Let’s take a look at the different types of silicon wafers and how it affects silicon prices.
SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) Wafer
Only a thin layer on the surface of a silicon wafer is used for making electronic components. The rest of it basically serves as a mechanical support. The role of SOI is to electronically insulate a fine layer of monocrystalline silicon from the rest of the silicon wafer. Integrated circuits can then be fabricated on the top layer of the SOI wafers using the same processes as would be used on plain silicon wafers. The embedded layer of insulation enables the SOI-based chips to function at significantly higher speeds while reducing electrical losses. The result is an increase in performance and a reduction in power consumption.
Epitaxial wafers are used to achieve surface integrity. There are two different types of Epitaxial wafers, thin and thick. Thin Epitaxial wafers are commonly used for leading-edge MOS devices. Thick Epitaxial or Multi-layered epitaxial wafers are used for devices that control electric power. They are also a contributing factor in improving the efficiency of energy consumption.
Polished wafers are silicon wafers with one or both sides polished to a mirror surface.
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