The assignee for this patent, patent number 8506706, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to the growth of monocrystalline germanium (Ge) crystals, as well as systems, methods and substrates related thereto.
"Electronic and opto-electronic device manufacturers routinely require large and electronically uniform single semiconductor crystals which, when sliced and polished, provide substrates for microelectronic device production. The growth of a semiconductor crystal involves heating polycrystalline raw material to its melting point (typically in excess of 1,200.degree. C.) to create a polycrystalline raw material melt, bringing the melt into contact with a high quality seed crystal of the same material, and allowing the melt to crystallize on its contact surface with the seed crystal. A number of different processes for accomplishing this are known from the literature. These include the Czochralski process (Cz) and its variant, the Liquid Encapsulated Czochralski process (LEC), the Horizontal Bridgman and Bridgman-Stockbarger processes (HB) and their vertical variants (VB), and the gradient freeze process (GF) and its variant, the vertical gradient freeze processes (VGF). See for example 'Bulk Crystal Growth of Electronic, Optical and Optoelectronic Materials',
"With regard to known processes, 150 mm (6 inch) diameter, low dislocation germanium single crystals have been produced commercially by using the Czochralski technique. Larger diameter wafer have been discussed, though not demonstrated (Vanhellemont and Simoen,
"As shown by many studies reported in the literature, compared with the Cz/LEC techniques, the VB/VGF growth techniques generally utilize lower thermal gradients and lower growth rates and, thus, produce single crystals with much lower dislocation densities (see
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