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How to cleave a Si wafer with a diamond scribe

How to cleave a Si wafer without a diamond scribe

Glossary

 

Wafer cleaving is a must-have skill for semiconductor process engineers and researchers. Among all the different wafer cleaving methods that we've used/seen, the one demonstrated here shows the best results in terms of least particles on the final sample and least wear and tear of the diamond scribe.

This is the Si wafer that we are going to cleave. 100mm, 525um thick, SSP, <100>.

On a <100> silicon wafer, it is possible to cleave at 90deg prependicular to those flats (P type).

Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 01
Tools: a diamond scribe, some cleanroom tissue, and a pair of sharp tip tweezers. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 02
If you don't have this kind of tweezers, you can use any thin/sharp stuff around you, for example a paper clip. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 03
This is how you are going to use it. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 04
At first, make a tiny scratch at the wafer edge with the diamond scribe, just like writing with a pen. Don't use much force. It is not necessary and will generate a lot of particles. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 05
This is the scratch. One is just enough.You don't have to do it many many times. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 06
Now, insert the tip of the tweezers right underneath the scratch. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 07
You can also use the modified paper clip (in fact, easier to handle) Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 08
Press gently at the wafer edge next to the scratch that you just made. The wafer should break nicely. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 09
Repeat this many times to produce the sample size you need. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 10
Job done. Cleave a silicon wafer with a diamond scibe 11