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Silicon Wafer Glossary

Technical terms, which we use on the website:


Alloy : Alloys are created by mixing metals or metals with other chemical elements, resulting in specific material properties, such as corrosion resistance or mechanical properties.

Angstrom (Å): A unit of length equal to 10^(-10) meters, used to express very small lengths comparable to the size of atoms.

Annealing (Glass): A process that removes internal stress within glass structures by slowly cooling hot-formed glass, preventing spontaneous cracking. Annealing temperature typically ranges from 454°C to 482°C.


Bow: Concavity or deformation of the wafer measured from the center, independent of any thickness variation.


Chemical Resistance: The ability of a material’s surface to resist reactions with other chemical agents that could degrade its chemical structure.

Cleanliness: Measure of contaminants and particles deposited on a substrate surface, which can lead to defects in final products.

Conductivity: Measure of a material’s ability to conduct electricity. The inverse of conductivity is resistivity.

Crystal : A solid in which molecules, atoms, or ions are arranged in an orderly pattern that repeats in all three spatial dimensions.

Crystal Orientation:Determined by Miller indices (hkl), describing how crystal planes intersect the main crystallographic axes.

Czochralski Method: Technique for obtaining monocrystals developed by Polish chemist Jan Czochralski, involving controlled crystallization of molten material.


Defect Concentration: Concentration of imperfections in crystals, such as point or layer breaks in their lattice system regularity.

Density: Ratio of a substance’s weight to the volume it occupies.

Dopant:  Chemical element added to a semiconductor to alter its conductivity.

Doping: Process of adding dopants to a semiconductor to modify its conductivity and resistivity.


Epitaxy: Semiconductor technology for growing new monocrystalline layers on an existing crystalline substrate.


Face-Centered Cubic Structure: Crystallographic system in which all three axes are of equal length and perpendicular to each other.

Float Glass: Glass production method producing almost perfectly flat, distortion-free glass.


Ingot: Pure crystal formed by methods such as the Czochralski method, used for further processing.

Insulator:  Material with very low electrical conductivity.


N-Type: Doped semiconductor with an excess of electrons, resulting in negative conductivity.


Phonon: Quasiparticle representing quantum energy of vibration of a crystal lattice.

P-Type: Doped semiconductor with electron deficiency, resulting in positive conductivity.

Prime Grade: Highest quality wafers used for device production.


Refractive Index: Magnitude of light refraction from one medium to another.

Resistivity: Measure of a material’s resistance to electric current.

Roughness:Surface irregularities finer than its shape, dependent on material and treatment.


Sapphire: Mineral characterized by high hardness, often used in semiconductor applications.

Semiconductor:  Substance with conductivity between metals and dielectrics, whose conductivity can be varied.

SIMOX: Separation by Implantation of Oxygen, a process for forming silicon layers by oxygen ion implantation.


Test Grade: Lower-quality wafers used for research and testing.

Thermal Oxidation: Process for producing thin oxide layers on wafers, typically silicon dioxide.

Thermal Resistance: Measure of a material’s resistance to heat transfer.

Thickness: Distance between the front and back surfaces of a wafer.

Total Thickness Variation (TTV): Difference in thickness between the thickest and thinnest parts of a wafer.


Wafer: Thin plate of semiconductor material used in electronic integrated circuits and solar cells.

Warp: Difference between the minimum and maximum values of a wafer surface.


Zincblende Structure:  Cubic crystal structure characterized by tetrahedral coordination of atoms.

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