Most prime grade silicon wafers go through two to three stages of polishing using progressively finer slurries or polishing compounds. Polishing produces a mirror finish on the wafer that must be free of topography, micro-cracks, and scratches. After polish, the silicon wafers are processed through clean baths to remove surface particles, trace metals, and residues.9 Again, these abrasive liquids must be continually circulated and drained away, after which they are usually cleaned of impurities, filtered, and reused.


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