Ultra Pure Sand That Makes Our Chips!

Ultra Pure Sand That Makes Our Chips!

Silicon is the most widely used material for making computer chips, solar cells, and other electronic devices. But how does silicon go from being a common element in sand to being a thin and shiny wafer that can power our gadgets? In this post, I will explain the main steps involved in the process of making silicon ingots and wafers.

The first step is to obtain the raw material for the wafers: silicon. Silicon is a semiconductor, which means it can conduct electricity under certain conditions. Silicon is abundant in nature, as it is the main component of sand. However, to make wafers, we need very pure silicon, which is obtained by purifying sand and melting it into cylindrical ingots.

The next step is to grow a single crystal from the melted silicon. This is done by using a technique called the Czochralski method, invented by Polish chemist Jan Czochralski. In this method, a seed crystal of silicon, which has the same crystal orientation as the desired ingot, is placed on top of the molten silicon. The seed crystal and the crucible of molten silicon rotate in opposite directions, creating a temperature gradient that allows the crystal to grow.

The seed crystal is slowly lifted out of the melt, pulling the growing crystal with it. The process continues until a large cylindrical crystal, called a boule, is formed.

The third step is to slice the boule into thin disks called wafers. This is done by using a diamond edge saw that carefully cuts the boule into wafers that are slightly thicker than the target specification. 

The diamond edge saw also minimizes damage and defects to the wafers.

The fourth step is to polish and clean the wafers. This involves several sub-steps, such as lapping, etching, and chemical-mechanical polishing. These sub-steps remove any impurities, scratches, or irregularities from the surface of the wafers, making them smooth, flat, and shiny. The wafers are also inspected for quality control and tested for electrical properties.

Polised Wafer

The final step is to package and ship the wafers to customers who will use them to make various electronic devices. The wafers are protected by plastic casings and stored in vacuum-sealed containers.

Making silicon ingots and wafers is a complex and precise process that requires advanced technology and expertise. It is also a constantly evolving process, as wafer makers strive to make thinner, larger, and more efficient wafers. The current state-of-the-art technology for making wafers is called extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL), which uses shorter wavelengths of light to create finer patterns on the wafers. EUVL enables wafer makers to produce wafers with more transistors and higher performance than ever before.

Silicon ingots and wafers are essential for modern technology, as they enable us to create powerful and versatile electronic devices. By understanding how they are made, we can appreciate their value and potential.

Words Of Matter New Testamant wafer

The final step is to print the texts we offer in 24K gold on our Words of matter chips onto the pure silicon wafer. As you can see it is a long and difficult production cycle to bring you our products.


©2023 Words Of Matter  - All Rights Reserved

Back to blog