- The IIT team informed that glass substrates have significant advantages over silicon substrates
- Glass substrates can be 80 per cent economical than silicon substrates
- Substrates for electronics devices are generally made using Silicon
- Silicon wafers are found in all kinds of electronic devices
A research team at IIT Bombay has used glass to develop substrates used in consumer electronics and 5G devices. Substrates are used as bases on which circuits are etched. The process is done after substrates are coated with a thin film of a material like silicon oxide.
The IIT team, headed by professor Pradeep Dixit, used 3D printing (additive manufacturing technology) to solve the major problem related with using glass for making substrates – glass’ brittleness. The reserach project under which the IIT Bombay team developed the glass substrate, is supported by a grant from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
80 per cent economical than silicon substrates
A report published by the Hindu Business Line pointed out glass substrates as up to 80 per cent cheaper than traditional silicon substrates. Substrates made using Silicon do not expand on heating, a property that makes these easy to be coated with film materials.
The report also mentions that the micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) industry has been looking for alternatives to Silicon for making substrates. Glass substrates can also be termed as fused silica. The latter, chemically, is form of glass that does not have any metallic impurities.
IIT Bombay reached technology readiness level (TRL) of five. The higher the TRL level, the more ready is a solution to be made available in the market. The TRL ratings usually scaled on one to nine.
According to Verified Market Research, The Global Silicon Wafer Market was valued at USD 8.84 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 14.70 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.57 per cent from 2018 to 2026.
It is to be noted here that Silicon wafers are found in all kinds of electronic devices. These are an essential material for manufacturing semiconductors.