Silicon Wafers are the foundation of modern electronic technology

There is one component that seems unassuming but which has become indispensable in modern electronics. That component is the silicon wafers. Silicon wafers, which are circular thin disks of silicon crystal, have been the unsung hero behind electronic devices now ubiquitous to our lives. In many different technologies – from solar panels, smartphones and computer systems to medical devices and solar cells – silicon wafers provide the fundamental material. Discover the diverse industries that use silicon wafers.

Silicon Wafers are Important:
Silicon wafers form an integral part of manufacturing semiconductors that are at the heart of electronic technology. As a plentiful element, Silicon has a unique set of properties that makes it the ideal semiconductor. Under some conditions it conducts electricity, while under others it acts as an insulator. Therefore, silicon is a good material for making electronic circuits.

To make a wafer, the silicon has to be removed from silica. This silicon is purified and melted into cylindrical ingots. With diamond-edged saws these ingots will be cut into thin wafers. After each wafer has been polished, it is ready for use. These wafers then serve as a base for the fabrication of semiconductor devices.

Silicon Wafers’ Role in Semiconductor Making:
Microchips, transistors and other semiconductor devices are made on silicon through complex fabrication processes. In photolithography thin layers are deposited of conductive or insulating materials on the surface. In order to make the complex electronic circuitry used in devices, these layers are pattern using light sensitive materials and etching process.

To ensure that semiconductor devices perform and are reliable, silicon wafers need to be of a uniformly high quality. In order to meet the growing demand for increasingly powerful and smaller devices, manufacturers of silicon wafers constantly innovate their manufacturing process and create new wafers.

Diverse Application Across Industries
There are many applications for silicon wafers beyond the consumer electronic industry, including telecommunications. Automotive, healthcare and renewable energies.

For the telecoms industry, silicon chips are required to make high-performance CPUs and memory for devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, and networking hardware. To deliver the advanced features in these devices, silicon wafers provide miniaturization and integrated capabilities.

Wafers from silicon are used by the automotive industry in order to create electric cars (EVs) as well as advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). The semiconductors built onto silicon wafers can be used for electric drives, battery management, autonomous driving and other innovations.

The silicon wafer is used to make medical imaging and diagnostic devices as well implantable health devices. Semiconductor devices made of silicon wafers are capable of precise sensing capabilities, as well as imaging and therapeutic abilities, which allows more accurate diagnostics and treatments.

The production of photovoltaic solar cells is dependent on the silicon wafers. These solar cells turn sunlight into electrical energy, offering a green and sustainable alternative for fossil fuels. In order to improve the effectiveness and reliability solar panels, silicon wafers can be used.

Silicon wafers, despite their small size, have an enormous impact on our modern technology. Due to their role as the building blocks of semiconductor manufacture, silicon is used for electronic devices. Wafers of silicon are essential to modern electronics. This includes everything from electric vehicles and mobile phones, to solar and medical panels. In the coming years, as technology progresses, the role of silicon wafers to enable new innovations and shape the future for electronics will grow.