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Sunday, June 18, 2017

#371 Silicon is forever

Few thoughts regarding role of silicon in electronics and photonics. Once considered a semiconductor material to be gradually replaced by other semiconductors, silicon defies all odds and its role continues to expand into new areas.  


Obviously, silicon is a truly abundant element displaying decent semiconductor characteristics (plus excellent mechanical properties which make it uniquely suitable for MEMS/NEMS applications). However, it is not silicon’s abundance or physical characteristics that is a main driving force behind its most recent expansion, but the fact that it can be processed into very large chemically pure wafers (up to 450 mm in diameter) which are mechanically very sturdy and essentially defects-free. This set of characteristics makes silicon a highly desired substrate for semiconductors which themselves cannot be obtained in the form of such large wafers among which gallium nitride, GaN, which is a foundation of LED-based lighting technology, is a prime example.  

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 10:57 AM | Semiconductors | Comments (9) | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.

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