The bonding speed (or contact wave velocity) of silicon and fused quartz wafers has been measured as a function of temperature. The results show that the bonding process stops to operate at temperatures above 90°C and 320°C for fused quartz and bare silicon wafers, respectively. By comparing our results to infrared spectra obtained from silica gel we develop a tentative model of the bonding process. This model is based on the assumption that the initial wafer bonding process occurs via hydrogen bonds of adsorbed water. This model explains why the bonding strength increases in two distinct steps during high temperature annealing. By introducing a phenomenological time constant τ we can also account for the fact that in an intermediate temperature range the bonding strength does not depend on annealing time as it has been reported in the literature.