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Future Oriented

How is a Silicon Wafer Made?

A silicon wafer is the thin piece of ultra-pure mono-crystalline silicon that forms the core of a solar cell. These wafers are a crucial element in  the production of solar cells and semiconductors.

Silicon wafer inspection. A batch of silicon wafers packed in a plastic storage box in the clean room of a semiconductor foundry ready for microchip production. Banner.
silica quartz sand banner


High-Purity Quartz

High-purity quartz (HPQ) sand been specially sized and purified to greater than 99.997% of pure silica (SiO2). This unique sand is manufactured from specially selected quartz rocks from dedicated HPQ mining operations.



Quartz Crucible

A quartz crucible, made of HPQ sand, is a large bowl essential to making silicon ingots. The crucibles have very high purity, a very high melting temperature, and are thermally stable at high temperatures. HPQ is the predominant material used for making crucibles to manufacture silicon wafers.

CZ Furnace


CZ Furnace

The quartz crucible is charged (loaded) with polysilicon. The charged polysilicon is placed in a Czochralski (CZ) furnace, where a single crystal — an ingot of pure silicon — is grown.

silicon ingot


Silicon Ingot

Once grown and cooled, the silicon ingot is removed from the CZ furnace; both its top and tail are cut off. Then it is either used in its round state or the rounded sides are sliced off to create a more squared ingot.

silicon wafer


Silicon Wafers

Using diamond wires, the round or squared-up ingots are sawn into very thin wafers. After polishing, the silicon wafer is ready to be used.

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