They may be miniature, but we couldn’t live without them. Chips with millions of switching elements are essential to modern electronics. They make computers run and mobile phones speak. To produce these extremely intricate structures, high-quality phosphates are needed.

Semiconductor chips, such as silicon wafers, are manufactured by machines with the highest precision. This requires material that, on the one hand, can be processed with great accuracy, whilst on the other hand, shows absolutely no sign of changes in dimensions under fluctuating temperatures, i.e. zero thermal expansion material. Practically the only suitable materials for this are glass ceramics derived from melting glass via controlled crystallisation. Although metal can be processed to an equivalent level of accuracy, slight changes in dimensions are experienced at even minimal temperature fluctuations. Even temperature changes of a fraction of a degree can lead to length inconsistencies due to thermal expansion, which is an unacceptable risk in exposing semiconductor chips to lighting.

Special raw materials

Phosphates are often used to control crystallisation behaviour during the solidification of the melt in the production of glass ceramic components. Phosphates from Budenheim are particularly well suited for this type of use because they are of excellent chemical purity, and, therefore, introduce practically no negative foreign molecules into the glass melt.