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. The wafer serves as the substrate for microelectronic devices built in and over the wafer. Let’s take a look at some of the common silicon wafer related terms.
Adhesion – the ability of materials to stick (adhere) to each other.
Boron – element from group III of the periodic table; acts as an acceptor in silicon; Boron is the only p-type dopant used in silicon device manufacturing.
Cleanroom – enclosed ultra-clean space necessary for semiconductor manufacturing. Airborne particles are removed from the space to specified minimum levels, room temperature and humidity are strictly controlled.
Compound Semiconductor – synthetic semiconductor formed using two or more elements mainly from groups II through VI of the periodic table.
Diffusion Pump – high vacuum pump operating in the ranges from 10-3 torr to 10-7 torr featuring relatively high pumping speed.
Ingot – circular piece of single-crystal semiconductor material resulting from a crystal growth process.
Reclaim Grade – A lower quality wafer that has been used in manufacturing and then reclaimed (etched or polished) and subsequently used a second time in manufacturing.
Slicing – the term refers to the process of cutting of the single-crystal ingot into wafers.
Wafer Bonding – a process in which two semiconductor wafers are bonded to form a single substrate.
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