Float-zone silicon crystal growth

Float-zone silicon crystal growth

C014/7164 Rights Managed

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: silicon wafer production

Credit: CHRISTIAN KOCH, MICROCHEMICALS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Silicon crystal growth. Artwork showing the float-zone process used to grow silicon crystals, an alternative to the Czochralski process (C014/7163). A rod of pure polycrystalline silicon is passed through a heating coil to create a molten zone from which the crystal ingot forms. A seed crystal starts the growth, which takes place in a vacuum or under an inert gas. Specialized doping techniques create the semiconductor properties. Silicon used in microchips needs to be precisely engineered for structure and purity. Circular wafers will be machined from this ingot. For the production stages, see C014/7165 to C014/7167.

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