When you think of cells and wafers, you are probably thinking about cells in a body, and wafer cookies. That is what most often comes to mind via word association. However, in the world of semiconductor assembly, cells and wafers have entirely different meanings. Here is what those words mean to this type of assembly, and why it is important to know this information.
Wafers are pure silicon. Whe people talk about the silicon inside modern electronics, especially computers, this is what they are referring to. The silicon itself is grown into long cylinders in a lab, which helps control and conform their shape to the exact size and diameter the cylinders need to be. Then a laser takes perfect cuts of the column to create really thin little wafers of silicon. The wafers are polished super-smooth prior to being installed into a semiconductor cell.
Cells are the main portion of any semiconductor. One could even argue that cells are the semiconductors, since the majority of the semiconductors' components are in the cells. The cells themselves are comprised of multiple, super-thin layers of silicon wafers, metal wiring, metal and thermoplastic plates with connections between the layers through which the electrical charges are passed and routed. Several cells may be connected together to create a super cell to install in a very big piece of machinery.
Why It Is Important to Know This Information
There are a number of reasons why you should know this information. Maybe you would like a job in the industrial sector assembling semiconductor cells. Maybe you are an employer looking to test the knowledge of job applicants with regards to wafers, cells, and other semiconductor components.
You may also want to know this information so that you do not embarrass yourself at a party when someone starts discussing cells and/or wafers and why these had to be taken apart, destroyed or reassembled. (It would be quite embarrassing to interject a personal story on wafer cookies when everyone else is talking about semiconductor wafers instead.) It also helps to know this information if and when something goes really wrong with a rocket launch or a plane crash and the journalists report that the problem had something to do with faulty cells or not enough wafers.
Whatever the reason, it is good to study up now. The information may prove very useful later in life. If nothing else, you could answer a Jeopardy game show question with this information. For more information, contact a company such as Unisem.