Germanium: From the first application of Czochralski crystal growth to large diameter dislocation-free wafers
Being the pioneer material in the history of electronics, germanium has regained a lot of interest as a semiconductor material for opto-electronic and electronic applications. We present how developments in the growth of germanium single crystals and the processing of crystals into wafers have enabled the optimal exploitation of the properties of germanium for applications in infrared optics and gamma-radiation detection, and the breakthrough of this material as a substrate for opto-electronic applications like photovoltaics. Germanium might even be on the verge of a come-back in electronics: recent developments show that germanium is a promising material for next generation nanoscale electronic devices and integration of optical functions on logic circuits. In order to achieve compatibility with the state-of-the-art Si environment, we have developed our dislocation-free crystal growth and wafer processing towards the production of 300 mm Ge wafers.