materials

Silicon

Silicon is one of the most prolific materials used in the semiconductor industry, and is found in technical products ranging from solar cells and IR applications to wafer applications and quantum computing.

8.5

Relative Cost of Material

6.0

Machining Degree of Difficulty

Summary

Silicon comes in a variety of purities and forms, namely monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous, and can be machined into complex shapes, polished, ground, and in some cases EDMed as well. The solid nature of mono- and polycrystalline silicon allow for tight tolerances and complex geometries to be achieved through aggressive machining As a staple in the semiconductor, electronic, communication, and IR industries, Mindrum Precision has been working in Silicon and other optical materials for over sixty years, and this core competency has allowed us to be one of the best in the world at tight tolerance manufacturing in these materials. Click here for our contact information or to request a quote, and we will show you why more engineers have trusted us with their mission-critical needs.

Applications

Silicon has many uses, and the function of your design will often drive which form you choose to use, as they have very different properties and price points. Monocrystalline silicon comes in the highest purities that are generally required for silicon wafers, while other electrical or infrared-related technologies frequently utilize polycrystalline silicon for its significantly lower pricepoint. In addition to its electrical qualities, silicon is a frequent component choice as a part of flow cell assemblies, including in nuclear and defense applications.  

Properties

Material PropertySilicon
Density (g/cm^3)2.33
Hardness (Knoop)1150
Tensile Strength (MPa)113
Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)159
Flexural Strength (MPa)300
Poisson's Ratio0.28
Fracture Toughness (MPa*m^.5)3.0 - 6.0
Dielectric Constant (@1MHz)11.8
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (1 x 10^-6/°C)2.6
Thermal Conductivity (W/m K)156
Specific Heat (J/kg*K)628
Maximum Working Temperature (°C)1350
Index of Refraction1.54
Transmission Band Wavelength (μm)0.30 - 0.37
*Note: Properties vary by manufacturer. The above information should be used for general reference purposes only.

related Materials

  • Germanium – A similar material, used in both IR and semiconductor applications
  • Fused Silica – High-purity optical material with excellent mechanical properties
  • ULE Glass – Near-zero CTE glass, with good optical qualities