The first and second generation of semiconductors were almost exclusively silicon and GaAs. However, these materials had limitations and could not withstand extreme temperature applications of modern technological equipment. Sapphire presented a solution to these limitations as it has a similar structure to GaN crystals with the added benefit of high-temperature stability and excellent chemical properties.
Sapphires have several properties that make them ideal for high-intensity electronic applications. For starters, sapphires are the third hardest mineral behind diamonds and moissanite, ranking nine on the Mohs scale. This durability, along with sapphire’s purity, makes it an exceedingly resistant material against chemicals, heat, and the etching process.
Sapphire wafers have a wide range of applications for both civil and military uses. Some of the most common settings in which you can find sapphires include:
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