IBM Turns Wafer Waste into Solar Energy
Date added: 30 Oct 2007
From silicon trash to solar energy: IBM engineers have invented a unique, eco-friendly way to recycle scrap silicon "wafers" -- the base material used for chips in everything from computers to consumer electronics. The new process has dual advantages for the environment, as it will help reduce the estimated 3 million silicon wafers discarded each year across the computer industry, while also providing new supplies of raw materials to the supply-constrained solar energy industry. In this photo James Procopio, an IBM chip manufacturing project manager, holds a semiconductor wafer prior to refurbishment and Michelle Bolz, an IBM manufacturing engineer, displays a solar panel. IBM intends to provide details of the new process to the broader semiconductor manufacturing industry.