Article | December 14, 2022

3-DOF Precision Positioning Stages Supporting Laser Assisted Wafer Slicing

PI - Laser Cutting

Staccato like flashes of blue and red intersect with an audible hiss as the lights retract tracing curvilinear arcs, illuminating the canyon of this distant lunarscape. It’s here in this fictional canyon that materials cleave along precise planes cut by coherent light sources without collateral damage. As we turn away from science fiction to science reality, the same scene is playing out in wafer fabs across the world with semiconductor materials.

As today’s technology becomes more advanced, the demand for ever decreasing sizes of features with more complex designs increases; and this means the manufacturing process of these semiconductors has to adapt. Lasers enable a wide variety of applications in semiconductor manufacturing. Major semiconductor processes, including laser cutting and slicing, integrate lasers to allow extremely high throughput with better process defect control for sustainably higher yields. Conventional techniques of slicing SiC ingots to wafers are generally performed using diamond- or slurry-based wire sawing processes. These sawing processes lead to substantial kerf-loss of precious material, which increases the cost per wafer.

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