Silicon wafer are circular, sometimes rectangular slices of silicon and are used in the semiconductor industry as a base plate (substrate) for electronic components.
The semiconductor and MEMS industries produce wafers with increase diameters. It started in 1960 with a diameter of 1″ (about 24 mm) which was then replaced in 1971 by 2″ (50.8 mm) wafers. Two years later, 3″ wafers (76.2 mm) have been developed. Over the years, silicon wafers diameters increased from 4″ (100 mm) over 5″ (125 mm) to 6″ (150 mm). In 1990, the semiconductor industry reached a diameter of 8″ (200 mm) silicon wafers. Only 7 years later, a diameter of 12″ (300 mm) established itself. In the meantime, 18″ (450 mm) wafers are being produced, but due to the even lower demand they are exorbitantly expensive.
As the wafer diameter increases, the available wafers surface increases multiple times (A = π * r2). The larger a silicon wafer is, the more microprocessors or other structures can be accommodated thereon. This advantage allows electronic components to be manufactured more cost-effective.
Of course, appropriate machines are required to handle the silicon wafers for processing. Silicon wafers need to be removed from the transport cassettes and fed to the individual process steps. As the diameter of silicon wafers grows, more up-to-date equipment is needed which could handle those. However, the machines / equipment required for different wafer diameters are not always profitable for all companies. Pocket wafers have pockets to hold smaller wafer diameter. These are held during further processing by pocket wafers. These enable the handling and processing of a large number of different wafer diameters on existing systems.
ABC GmbH offers pocket wafer, also called carrier wafers, to enable to handle wafers with smaller diameters with existing tools.
Typically, our pocket wafers are made from monocrystalline standard silicon wafers. This ensures that our pocket wafers can easily trade with existing equipment. Typically, 12″ wafers are provided with an 8″ pocket, 6″ pocket or 4″ pocket. The same as for 8″ wafers with a 6″ or 4″ pocket. But also, other customized and individual specifications and solutions are possible. For example, additional grooves or holes can be made. Even rectangular pockets are used by many customers.
We can also handle seemingly impossible requirements. Just ask for an individual solution that fits your process requirements.