Synthetic Moncrystalline Sapphire Wafers

Single crystal sapphire is transparent variety of mineral corundum (aluminum oxide Al2O3). Colors are caused by small amounts of impurities in the crystal. Available are synthetic monocrystalline polished sapphire wafers, sapphire windows, sapphire substrates, ultra-thin sapphire wafers and optical grade sapphire wafers.

There are near a dozen claimed unique-modified crystal growth methods used to produce sapphire. Some of the more popular are:

  • Czochralski (CZ)
  • Heat Exchanger Method (HEM
  • Kyropoulos also known as Kyropolos or Kyropulos(KY)
  • Edge Defined Film-fed (EFG)
  • Vertical Gradient Freezing (VGF)
  • Horizontal Directed Crystallization Method (HDC)

Common uses for Sapphire are:

  • LED substrate
  • Smartphones screens
  • Camera of smartphones lens
  • The specialized optical applications. Windows, lenses, prisms and etc
  • Lens of a photo and a video cameras
  • Screens protected shields
  • Watch industry applications
  • Smart watch glasses such as «iWatch»
  • Armored protective sapphire glass as windows for military equipment and special devices
  • Sapphire plates as ballistic armor elements for vehicles
  • Individual protection viewport
  • Endoprosthesis
  • Protective housings and domes

Sapphire comes in 3 major planes. R plane, C plane and A plane (M plane is also available):

C plane Sapphire Substrates

C-plane (0001-orientation) sapphire polished substrates are used for growth of GaN and other III-V and II-VI compounds when manufacturing LED’s. Other applications include infrared detectors, mercury cadmium telluride, wafer carriers and general optics.

MaterialCzochralski grown sapphire (>=99.995% High Purity monocrystalline Al2O3).
Surface Orientation C-Plane (0001) surface orientation, also called 0-degrees, off M (1-100) 0.2°, 0.3° . Other offcuts available.
CrystallinityNo visual evidence of slips, twins, lineage or fractures
Outer Diameter50.8mm ± 0.1mm, 76.2mm ± 0.25mm, 100.0mm ± 0.4mm, 150.0mm ± 0.5mm
Typical Thickness500μm ± 10μm, 430μm ± 10μm, 330μm ± 15μm
Typical Surface Flatness<25μm, depending on thickness
Typical Surface Bow<25μm, depending on thickness
Typical Surface Taper<25μm, depending on thickness
Primary Flat Length16mm ± 1mm, 22mm ± 1mm, 32.5mm ± 1mm
Primary Flat LocationParallel to M-axis, within 0.2 °
EdgesThe edges of the substrates have a ground finish.
Frontside Surface Finish A smooth, polished surface finish suitable for epitaxy. No visible scratches, pits, dimples or contamination allowed. Ra typically <0.20nm.
Backside Surface Finish Depends on whether wafer is single side polished or double side polished. SSP: Fine ground, Ra typically 0.4 to 1.5μm. DSP: Polished.
NoteOther wafers orientations are available, including R-plane (1 -1 0 2), A-plane (1 1 -2 0) and M-plane (1 -1 0 0).

R plane Sapphire Wafers

R-plane Sapphire (1-102), 57.6 degrees to C-plane, is the preferred material for Silicon-on-Sapphire used in semiconductor, microwave and pressure transducer applications. Typical applications for Silicon on Sapphire wafers include:

  • Fabrication of active topside Silicon-based devices
  • Fabrication of topside laser devices
  • Backside polishing of the SOS wafer to fabricate an optical device on the Silicon side
  • Etching off the Silicon side to utilize the Sapphire as a SEMI standard wafer, or wafer carrier

MaterialCzochralski grown sapphire (>=99.995% High Purity monocrystalline Al2O3).
Surface Orientation R-Plane (1 1 0 2) surface orientation. Surface oriented within 2-degrees. Offcuts are available.
CrystallinityNo visual evidence of slips, twins, lineage or fractures
Outer Diameter 50.8mm ± 0.1mm, 76.2mm ± 0.25mm, 100.0mm ± 0.4mm, 125.0mm ± 0.4mm, 150.0mm ± 0.5mm
Standard Thickness 625μm ± 10μm, 500μm ± 10μm, 430μm ± 10μm, 330μm ± 15μm
Typical Surface Flatness <25μm, depending on thickness
Typical Surface Bow<25μm, depending on thickness
Typical Surface Taper <25μm, depending on thickness
Primary Flat Length 16mm ± 1mm, 22mm ± 1mm, 32.5mm ± 1mm, 42.5mm ± 2.5mm
Primary Flat Location 45-degrees ± 2° from the projection of the c-axis in the r-plane
Edges The edges of the substrates have a ground finish.
Frontside Surface Finish A smooth, polished surface finish suitable for epitaxy. No visible scratches, pits, dimples or contamination allowed. Ra typically < 0.20nm.
Backside Surface Finish Depends on whether wafer is single side polished or double side polished. SSP: Fine ground, Ra typically 0.4 to 1.5μm. DSP: Polished.
NoteOther wafers orientations are available, including A-plane (1 1 -2 0), C-plane (0 0 0 1) and M-plane (1 -1 0 0).

A plane Sapphire Wafers

A-Plane sapphire substrates are useful for hybrid microelectronic applications requiring a uniform dielectric constant and highly insulating characteristics.  This orientation can also be used for the growth of high Tc superconductors. The availability of Angstrom level surface finishes allows for fine line interconnects of hybrid modules.

MaterialCzochralski grown sapphire (>=99.995% High Purity monocrystalline Al2O3).
OrientationA-Plane (1 1 -2 0) surface orientation, also called 90-degrees. Surface oriented within 0.3-degrees. Other offcuts are available.
Crystallinity No visual evidence of slips, twins, lineage or fractures
Outer Diameter 50.8mm ± 0.1mm, 76.2mm ± 0.25mm, 100.0mm ± 0.4mm, 150.0mm ± 0.5mm
Thickness500μm ± 10μm, 430μm ± 10μm, 330μm ± 15μm
Surface Flatness <25μm, depending on thickness
Surface Bow <25μm, depending on thickness
Surface Taper <25μm, depending on thickness
Primary Flat Length 16mm ± 1mm, 22mm ± 1mm, 32.5mm ± 1mm
Primary Flat Location Parallel to the C-axis <0 0 0 1>, within 0.2 °
EdgesThe edges of the substrates have a ground finish.
Frontside Surface Finish A smooth, polished surface finish suitable for epitaxy. No visible scratches, pits, dimples or contamination allowed. Ra typically < 0.20nm.
Backside Surface Finish Depends on whether wafer is single side polished or double side polished. SSP: Fine ground, Ra typically 0.4 to 1.5μm. DSP: Polished.
NoteOther wafers orientations are available, including R-plane (1 -1 0 2), C-plane (0 0 0 1) and M-plane (1 -1 0 0) .

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