Semiconductor Wafers & Substrates


Semiconductor Wafer and Substrate is a thin slice of material that are mainly serve as the base for the fabrication of numerous semiconductor devices. These semicondurtor wafers can be further categorized into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gerneration semiconductor material. The 1st generation, material has one of the longest development history, it is represented by silicon (Si), and germanium (Ge). As for the 2nd generation material, it is represented by gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium antimonide(GaSb). The 3rd generation mateirla has rather shorter development history and often know as wide band gap semiconductor material, silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN) and diamond are some of the widely known materials for this category. Despite the shorter development history for 3rd generation material, it has dominated the power electronics market with its superior Through a series of processing steps, the electronic components like transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits can be created. In summary, semiconductor wafers are a specific type of substrate used for creating semiconductor devices. However, substrates encompass a broader range of materials and applications beyond just wafers, including the underlying materials used in various semiconductor manufacturing processes. Both wafers and substrates are fundamental to the fabrication of electronic components that power modern technology.

MSE Supplies offers various semicondutor wafers and substrates in different dimension. If you have any questions, please contact us online, or call us at (520)789-6673 to request a quote for customzied or bulk order.

Gerneral Key Parameters for Wafers

  • Material: Silicon is the most common material used for semiconductor. wafers. Other materials including Silicon Carbide (SiC), Gallium Nitride (GaN), Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), Glass, Germanium, Sapphire, etc. 
  • Diameter: Wafers come in various diameters, with 200mm (8 inches) and 300mm (12 inches) being common sizes in modern semiconductor manufacturing. Larger diameters allow for more chips to be produced from a single wafer, increasing efficiency. 
  • Orientation: Wafers are cut from an ingot in specific crystal orientations, usually the <100> or <111> orientation. The orientation affects the electronic properties of the resulting devices.
  • Dopants: Dopants are introduced into the semiconductor material to modify its electrical properties. Common dopants include boron (p-type) and phosphorus (n-type). Dopants are used to create the desired electrical behavior for different semiconductor devices.
  • Thickness: Wafers are sliced from a silicon ingot and have a specific thickness. Thinner wafers are generally more desirable as they reduce the distance that electrical signals must travel within the device, improving performance and reducing power consumption.
  • Carrier Concentration: Carrier concentration refers to the density of charge carriers (electrons or holes) within the semiconductor material. It affects the conductivity and performance of the device.
  • Bow and Warp: Wafer bow refers to the slight curvature of a wafer's surface, while warp refers to the overall shape of the wafer. Minimizing bow and warp is crucial for maintaining uniformity during processing.
  • Surface Finish & Roughness: The surface finish of a wafer is critical for process steps like lithography and etching. A smooth and clean surface is necessary for precise patterning and the formation of intricate structures. Most commonly surface finish types including etched, lapped, optical polished, CMP polished, etc. This parameter is often defined as Ra.


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