semiconductor wafer - addisonengineering
It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. Silicon is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust.Elemental silicon also has a large impact on the modern world economy. Although most free silicon is used in the steel refining, aluminum-casting, and fine chemical industries, the relatively small portion (< 10%) of very high purity silicon that is used in semiconductor electronics is perhaps the most critical.
The use of silicon in semiconductor devices requires a much higher purity than metallurgical grade silicon. Very pure silicon (>99.9%) can be extracted directly from solid silica or other silicon compounds by molten salt electrolysis. This method, known as early as 1854, has the potential to directly produce solar-grade silicon without any carbon dioxide emission at much lower energy consumption.
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