Silicon wafer reclaim is a wafer that is processed, stripped, polished, cleaned, and reprocessed for various applications such as for the manufacturing of solar cells, integrated circuits, and more. Furthermore, it is a process that converts used wafer into a functioning good quality wafer known as test wafer at a much cheaper cost. With the help of silicon wafer reclaim, companies can prominently reduce the cost of purchasing new wafers. Silicon reclaim wafers are thinner in size as compared to unused wafers and generally offer the same performance as an unused or virgin test wafer. Basically, a silicon wafer reclaim process begins with sorting, inspection, and evaluation for the prevention of metallic contamination in the reclaim process. Furthermore, through the stripping process, the metallic films on the wafer are removed. This is followed by another process known as grinding process, which is used to remove the additional metallic films from the silicon wafer. Prior to the packaging, a silicon wafer is finally cleaned, inspected, and certified. Cleaning of the silicon wafer is done for the reduction of metallic level.
The increasing cost of silicon wafers, their rising demand for the manufacturing of chips or micro-chips used in electronic devices, and increasing application of silicon wafers to diagnose the process conditions and status of the equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing processes is expected to boost the global silicon wafer reclaim market. Silicon is a vital and high quality material used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Reclaiming the wafers is an economical program that high volume manufacturers of chips undertake to increase the significance of silicon substrates previously used. Due to the steep cost of superior quality silicon and its consumption in huge volumes by various industries, large number of semiconductor facilities monitor and optimize their manufacturing equipment and processes with the help of reclaimed wafers.
Complexity of the silicon wafer reclaim process that includes sorting, stripping, lapping, polishing, and inspecting could restrain the growth of the silicon wafer reclaim market. For instance, during the inspection stage prior to fabrication, the wafers are sorted on the basis of thickness. Typically a certain amount of defect levels needs to be maintained. Any error in measuring the defect levels can hamper the entire fabrication process, as it is used for troubleshooting equipment used for the process of fabrication. However, the increasing technological investment by well-established players to simplify the reclaiming process is expected to overcome this complexity.
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The silicon wafer reclaim market can be segmented on the basis of product type, application, and regions. On the basis of product type, the market can be segmented into 150mm, 200mm, 300mm, and others. On the basis of application, the market can be segmented into solar powered cells, integrated circuits, and others.
Geographically the silicon wafer reclaim market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. North America and Europe are expected to lead due to technological advancements, growing demand for low cost silicon wafer for the semiconductor industry, and presence of well-established players in the silicon wafer reclaim market across countries such as the U.S. and Canada. However, continuously growing industrialization in China and the “Make in India” initiative to set up semiconductor wafer plants in India is expected to drive the silicon wafer reclaim market at a significant pace.
Some of the key players in the silicon wafer reclaim market are MicroTech Systems, Inc., Phoenix Silicon International Corporation, RS Technologies Co., Ltd., Shinryo Corporation, Silicon Materials, Inc., Silicon Valley Microelectronics, Inc., Pure Wafer, Noel Technologies, Inc., NOVA Electronic Materials, LLC., Optim Wafer Services, Silicon Quest, NanoSILICON, Inc., and many more.