Silent Q

Azog's little slice of the world. Whee.

Silicon wafer clock

Posted By on April 16, 2010

I suppose this isn’t very original, but I know I haven’t done it before. And if it is original, well, I’d be surprised, cause it just seems so “natural”:

This is an analog clock face using a silicon wafer.

I was randomly browsing ebay when I suddenly stumbled on several wafer listings. On a whim I did a “Buy now”, and this is what I got:

It’s an 8″ round wafer. The pattern is interesting. Not knowing a single thing about silicon wafers, I like to think this is a production test wafer, cause it almost likes like those varying shades of gray you see for copier or photograph tests.

Anyways, all I did was get two peices of 9″ unfinished MDF, glue them together (to make it thicker), and pick up a clock movement at Michael’s. The movement came with gold hands, but I didn’t think that would contrast very well with the shiny surface of the wafer, so I got black hour and minute hands, instead.

Drilling a hole thru the wafer was a bit daunting. I actually cracked it, but thankfully it’s not very visible. I need to polish it now, after my fingers have been all over it. If you ever handle a wafer, make sure you really do use clean cotton gloves, something that won’t scratch it. Not only will you prevent smudges, but you might even actually scratch the surface, it’s extremely delicate. There are several smaller scratches, but they don’t seem to appear, but even so…


2 Responses to “Silicon wafer clock”

  1. Sheena says:

    What did you use to drill it? Did you drill it on the MDF to absorb vibration? I work in the semi-conductor industry, and I think this would make a great gift for people who are transferring to another FAB.

  2. azog says:

    I just used as small a drill bit as possible, probably something like a 1/8″. I don’t remember if it was any special kind of drill bit. It skidded around the surface, so I had to make a small score mark first. I got impatient, and put too much pressure on it, where I mention that I cracked it. As it came out the other side, it splintered because of this. If I had a drill press, or just let the drill do the work, it would have been fine but taken longer. I didn’t drill it on the MDF itself, I think I just had some scrap wood under it (was afraid to damage the MDF).

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