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Sunday, March 7, 2021

#463 Non-semiconductor substrates

There are several semiconductor device applications in which substrates in the form of rigid, electrically conductive semiconductor wafers are not needed, or not desired. In such cases, insulating substrates are employed to provide mechanical support for semiconductor devices built on their surfaces using broadly understood thin-film technology.


In the case electronic and/or photonic devices require an insulating substrate featuring outstanding optical, mechanical, and chemical characteristics, sapphire is the first choice. Sapphire is a single-crystal (hexagonal) form of aluminum oxide Al2O3, which features substrate properties that are highly conducive with the needs of several key electronic and photonic semiconductor devices.


In the case when single-crystal material is not needed as an insulating substrate, glass is a solution. As a result, glass is the most common substrate in thin-film semiconductor device technology. It offers insulating properties, transparency to light, and adequate mechanical stability.


Both sapphire and glass substrates are mechanically rigid and as such are used only in semiconductor devices and circuits which are not subject to bending, flexing or stretching. When flexibility of the substrate is needed, bendable and rollable plastic films are the first choice


Look for more information on non-semiconductor insulating substrates used semiconductor device engineering in the Guide to Semiconductor Engineering (


Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 08:32 PM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

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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