Semiconductor Science and Technology vol:23 issue:7
Micro-Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microcopy, atomic force microscopy and preferential etching were used to characterize the sub-surface damage induced by the rough and fine grinding steps used to make ultra-thin silicon wafers. The roughly and ultra-finely ground silicon wafers were examined on both the machined (1 0 0) planes and the cross-sectional (1 1 0) planes. They reveal similar multi-layer damage structures, consisting of amorphous, plastically deformed and elastically stressed layers. However, the thickness of each layer in the roughly ground sample is much higher than its counterpart layers in the ultra-finely ground sample. The residual stress after rough and ultra-fine grinding is in the range of several hundreds MPa and 30 MPa, respectively. In each case, the top amorphous layer is believed to be the result of sequential phase transformations (Si-I to Si-II to amorphous Si). These phase transformations correspond to a ductile grinding mechanism, which is dominating in ultra-fine grinding. On the other hand, in rough grinding, a mixed mechanism of ductile and brittle grinding causes multi-layer damage and sub-surface cracks.