Wafer (electronics)

In electronics, a wafer (also called a slice or substrate)[1] is a thin slice of semiconductor, such as a crystalline silicon (c-Si), used for the fabrication of integrated circuits and, in photovoltaics, to manufacture solar cells. The wafer serves as the substrate for microelectronic devices built in and upon the wafer. It undergoes many microfabrication processes, such as doping, ion implantation, etching, thin-film deposition of various materials, and photolithographic patterning. Finally, the individual microcircuits are separated by wafer dicing and packaged as an integrated circuit.

  • Top: polished 12" and 6" silicon wafers. Their crystallographic orientation is marked by notches and flat cuts (left). VLSI microcircuits fabricated on a 12-inch (300 mm) silicon wafer, before dicing and packaging (right).
  • Bottom: solar wafers on the conveyor (left) and completed solar wafer (right)

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