What is a Wafer Dicing?
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Wafer dicing Process
The process of wafer dicing is where a die or a small block of integrated circuits are separated from the wafer of a semiconductor after the processing of the wafer. A wafer is also called a substrate or a slice, it is a thin semiconductor material used in the fabrication of the integrated circuits.
The process of dicing usually involves breaking and scribing, laser cutting, and mechanical sawing using a dicing saw. These methods are mostly automated to guarantee accuracy and precision. When the dicing process is followed, the silicon chips are individually encapsulated into each chip carriers that are used to build electronic devices such as computers, mobiles, and many more.
A single highly pure and defect-free crystalline material forms the wafer. A process known to form crystalline wafer is Czochralski growth that was invented by Jan Czochralski, a Polish chemist.
The Czochralski growth is a process where a high purity cylindrical ingot monocrystalline semiconductor is formed through a process of pulling a crystal seed from a melt. A sample of a monocrystalline semiconductor is germanium or silicon and is known as a boule.
The boule will be sliced using a wafer saw and then polished into the form of wafers. The wafer size is 100 to 200 m2 with 200 to 300 μm in thickness for photovoltaics use.
The wafer size that electronics uses are usually between 100 to 450 mm diameter, with the largest wafer ever made at 460 mm.
Orientation of Crystalline
Wafers are developed or grown from a crystal with a regular structure such as silicon forming a diamond cube. The surface of the cut wafers are aligned in several relative directions called a crystal orientation.
The Miller index defines the crystal orientation with 100 to 111 faces of being the most common silicon. The orientation of a crystal is important as many structures of single crystals in electronics have high anisotropic properties.
The crystal orientation of a wafer is the basis for ion implantation depths. Each path offers a direction that differentiates the crystal, a wafer cleavage occurs in a few directions that are well-defined. Achieving a wafer along the cleavage planes lets you easily dice it into individual chips or “dies”. This allows billions of circuit elements to be created individually on an averagely sized wafer which can then be separated into multiple individual circuits.
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