Silicon Wafer Orientations (100) (111) (110)

university wafer substrates

Why is the Orientation of Silicon Important?

Silicon Orientation is a vital part of the process of producing carbon nanotube (CNT) based electrode and conductor materials. It is a key prerequisite in many of the applications and technologies we use every day. With the ability to produce and deliver better performing devices, more efficient thermal insulation, and greener, safer building materials, the use of silicon-wafer edge engineering is becoming very important. But what exactly is it and how does it work?

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Silicon Crystalline Orientation Applications

In principle, the orientation of crystalline materials determines their optical, electrical, and mechanical properties. It's not that simple though. Alloys, like glass and silver, are made of multiple layers of powdered materials which are bonded together with other metallic oxides. There are also several different types of crystalline structures including amorphous, planar, and amoeboid. Each has its own peculiarities, which may affect their mechanical, optical, and chemical properties.

Silicon wafer-crystalline substrates are prepared from a variety of materials including aluminum, tin, steel, copper, and nickel alloys. Their composition is primarily dependent on the function they will play. Some of them are heat treated, some are solid friction free, and some are liquid conductors. In addition, the thickness, shape, and location of the crystalline substrates in the wafer can affect their use in electronics and optoelectronics applications. Here are some examples:

the crystal structure of silicon wafer orientation

Silicon Wafer Orientation in Optoelectronic Research: In electronics and optoelectronics research, the silicon orientation of the substrates has a profound effect. As research has proven, using a particular crystalline structure greatly influences the conductivity, optical, and thermal properties of the final product. Some of these effects are called substrate interactions which are due to chemical reactions between certain substrates. In some instances, substrate interactions are purely a function of temperature. Yet, most of these effects are the result of substrate design mistakes or lack of knowledge regarding how to properly align them.

Silicon Crystal Etching Processes: For applications where crystal alignment is important, but also important to maintain the correct crystal symmetry, engineers rely upon computer simulation techniques. This enables the simulation of various crystal structures using different conformers, substrates, and the various equipment used during the crystal etching process. Silicon simulations provide a great deal of insight into the efficiency of the fabrication process.

Silicon Wafer Design & Production: Another application of silicon wafer inspection comes into play when wafer production requires specific, even machined marks. To ensure consistent quality in products, engineers must know which marks will work for which types of substrates. These mark positions can be validated against a large database of potential wafer structures and compositions. Through this method, accurate, real-time feedback can be obtained on a substrate layout that was produced using one particular software package. This provides engineers with the ability to quickly identify areas of concern during the wafer process as well as provide direction for overall manufacturing production.

Non- Silicon Alloys: A very interesting application of silicon wafer orientations is their impact on heat dissipation. Non- Silicon alloys are usually marked with a black stripe across their surface. While they are effective at preventing heat conduction through their flat surfaces, this coating also prevents heat from penetrating the surface of the component. Instead, this heat energy is redirected to the interior of the component. These components have become very popular in applications requiring extreme temperatures, such as rocket-engine parts.

Membrane Technology: Membranes offer unique advantages over traditional methods of substrate attachment. They can form a protective layer between an injection mold's parting line and the work piece. This makes them a wonderful choice for high-volume, high-tech etching processes. Because these Membrane products can withstand a high amount of heat, their cost-effective operations make them a logical choice when it comes to Membrane substrate design and operation. Many companies offer a wide range of different membrane technologies, and there is likely a technology that will best suit your unique manufacturing needs.

Crystal And Single Crystal Orientation: Single crystals and multi-crystals are growing in popularity for numerous reasons. The most-common of these reasons centers around their ability to create a sharp, clean edge on most surfaces. However, other benefits include their ability to emit negative ions, which increase workability and enhance product quality. Single crystal and multi-crystal processing offer many benefits for component fabrication. For example, this processing method is ideal for making extremely thin wafers and thicker layers.

Silicon Orientation: A wafer's surface can be one of three different orientations. These three common silicon wafer surface orientations include: perpendicular, horizontal, and vertical. Although the physical description for each of these surface states that they are "perpendicular" in nature, each of these silicon wafer substrate orientations has applications in different situations. For example, the most commonly used substrate orientations result in a sharp, clean edge, while others may produce an "articulated" or "wavy" edge. Depending upon your manufacturing process needs, this may be a determining factor when selecting the correct silicon wafer substrate.

As mentioned earlier, many of the most popular substrate orientations are considered "perpendicular" in nature. Examples of this silicon wafer orientation include: flat, diamond, planar, and Membrane. A flat substrate is considered flat because it maintains its width, thickness, and face-flatness throughout the function and/or process. For example, a rectangular wafer blade cut with a diamond-silicon wafer can be expected to maintain the same face-flatness throughout its length. In addition, flat substrates provide superior cut-to-cut-contact times between products.

Another common silicon wafer substrate orientation is diamond-to-crystal. As the name would suggest, diamond-to-crystal wafers are made by cutting a sheet of silicon wafer into regular diamond shapes. This provides a clean, smooth surface that can be polished like other flat substrates. As this diamond-to-crystal wafer cut does not use "perpendicular" symmetry, the resulting products have somewhat irregular edges. This makes diamond-to-crystal wafers particularly useful for cutting delicate surfaces, such as thin-metal laminates.

The third common substrate used in the manufacture of chips and etching is a "planar" wafer. Planar wafers are manufactured using cross-section designs and in some cases with internal cavity. The internal cavity serves as an etching medium, which is commonly made from anodized aluminum or copper. A planar wafer is preferred over other materials for etching because of its high etching performance and can also withstand heat up to 400 degrees Celsius, which makes it ideal for applications requiring extremely high temperatures.



What is Silicon Wafer Orientation?

UniversityWafer, Inc. sells all orientations including silicon 100, 111, 110, 112, 211, 511 etc. Please let us know your wafer specification and quantity for an immediate quote.

What silicon orientation do I need?

Orientation needs depends on what your using the silicon wafers for. If your cleaving wafers then a (111) orientation will be more difficult to work with while (100) will cleave just fine.

Cleaving Silicon Wafers

If you lack the proper spec sheet then a use this simple test to find your silicon wafer's orientation.

scribing silicon wafers to test the orientation

Take a nail and press against the center of your silicon wafer. Then take a hammer and hit the head of the nail. If the wafer breaks into 4 pieces then the orientation is (100). If the wafer shatters into many different sized pieces then the orientation is (111).

Miller Indices - Difference Between Silicon Wafer <100> & <111>

Classify silicon wafer orientation and include (100), (111), (110), (211), (511).

miller indices

(100) (010) and (001) are exactly the same and all can be called (100) orientation!

Silicon wafer flats are used to determine the silicon wafer's orientation as in the image below.

Orientations Silicon Wafers

Notice that the silicon wafers in the image above have their edges cut out at different areas. These cut-out edges are called flats. The location of the flats is how you determin the crystal orientation of the silicon wafer.

What Silicon Orientation Should I Use for Laser Micromachining?

Clients often ask us which wafer orientation spec would work for their research.

A research client purchased one wafer of each orientation to see which orientation would work best for laser surface engineering for laser micromachining research.

Silicon Wafer Items Used:

Si Item #783 (100)

Si Item #2358 (110)

Si Item #3351 (111)

Researching laser micro-material processing using ultra-short laser pulses, from process development, to process management, to control systems and more.