1. Semiconductor, as it literally seems to be, is a solid substance whose conductivity is between insulators and most metals, either due to the addition of an impurity or because of temperature effects. In other words, the conductivity of the semiconductor can be controlled by adding impurities as a specific amount of other materials to the semiconductor.
2. Most semiconductor wafers are made of silicon, which is the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen and the eighth-most common element in the entire universe by mass. In addition to silicon, semiconductors also use other materials, including germanium, gallium arsenide, germanium, indium phosphide, sapphire and quartz.
3. Semiconductor wafers are available in a spread of diameters. The first semiconductor wafer made in the US in 1960 was just 1 inch in diameter. Today, standard semiconductor wafers go up from 12 inches to 18 inches.
4. Water is the key component of manufacturing Silicon wafers. It is a compound that basically is a general solvent for all substances, silicon included. A large production facility uses up to 4.8 million gallons of water every day to supply Silicon wafers for manufacturing needs and supply.
5. The thickness of semiconductor wafers varies greatly. The thickness of the wafer is always determined by the mechanical strength of any material used to make it. Regardless of what the semiconductor is made of, the wafer must be thick enough to support its own weight so that it does not break during processing.
6. Contamination is inevitable during the manufacture and transportation of semiconductors. Appropriate storage conditions must be in place to prevent contamination and/or degradation after shipment. Semiconductor wafers that are not vacuum sealed must be placed in a Nitrogen (N2) cabinet at a flow rate of 2 to 6 SCFH (Standard Cubic Feet per Hour).
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