What is a silicon wafer?
The raw material of silicon wafers is polycrystalline silicon, which is processed from quartz sand by refining it from other elements until it is 99.999999999 percent pure silicon.
Manufacturing a silicon wafer
Silicon wafer manufacturing begins when polycrystalline silicon is melted and a seed crystal is dipped into the melt. During the growth process the seed crystal transforms into a cylindrical single crystal. The crystal is cut, ground, and sliced into wafers according to customer specifications. The wafer goes through various mechanical and chemical processes to increase its strength and to ensure its uniform thickness and a flawless surface. As purity is the most important feature of a silicon wafer, significant part of the wafer processing takes place in a clean room.
The wafer manufacturing process often includes also different kinds of further processing stages. Finished wafers are checked, packed, and dispatched to sensor and semiconductor customers who use them as raw material in their processes.
What is a silicon wafer used for?
The customers manufacture at their components on the surface or inside the silicon wafer by using different mechanical and chemical methods. After this, the component is tested and the silicon wafer is diced. One wafer produces several hundreds or even tens of thousands of components.
Finally, the components are packed. Packaging protects the components and allows their incorporation into a module or directly into the end product. Components built on Okmetic's silicon can be found inside many products around us such as cars, mobile devices, game consoles, and medical applications.