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Sunday, November 10, 2019

#414 Some more about substrates

Most commonly, a piece of semiconductor material used to fabricate functional devices is in a form of a thin wafer featuring single-crystal structure and typically thinner than 1 mm. A distinction needs to be made between small and large wafers as well as square/rectangular and circular wafers all with the choice of desired surface orientation. In terms of size, commercial circular wafer substrates can be as small as 20 mm in diameter in the case of some II-VI compound semiconductors, and as large as 450 mm in diameter in the case of silicon wafers.


Clearly, while the nature of processes wafers are subjected to in the course of device manufacturing remains the same regardless of the size of the wafer, the way various operations are implemented, and the way wafers are handled, depend on the size and the shape of the wafers. For instance, square, and as thin as some 50 μm Si wafers used in the manufacture of solar cells, where cost of material rather than mechanical stability of the substrate is an issue, are subject to different handling procedures than close to 1000 μm thick, 450 mm in diameter circular Si wafers where mechanical rigidity of the substrate is a prime concern.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 10:59 AM | Semiconductors | 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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