Institute suggests more efficient method for cutting off chip wafers




Researchers at a Singapore research institute have developed a new method for cutting dies from silicon wafers. They use a laser with almost infrared light to release the dies ‘break’. This would work faster and more efficiently than current methods.

The scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or Astar, from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology report to have developed a new technique for waferdicing. Dicing is the division of the wafer surface in the dies, and which is currently done by means of sawing or cutting with lasers. The small which is the surface on which the structures are made ​​that ultimately form the chip.

According to the Canadian researchers wafers run with the current dicing techniques to break up the risk of small cracks along the edges of dies to walk on. Additionally saw creates waste material which contaminants and can cause problems with chips. The techniques to solve these problems, provide additional cost. The scientists claim that their laser-induced thermal cracking technology significantly more efficient.

A laser working with near-infrared light heated for the silicon, making it expands. Upon cooling the silicon shrinks again, so that it, by the crystalline structure, breaks, precisely on the line of the laser exposure. “The result is a silicon chip with a smooth surface without tearing,” the Astar.

The method would be 10 to 20 times faster ‘cutting’ than current techniques and higher yields and thinner chips make possible, that is the claim. The thinner chips would be cut with the current cutting techniques are not out of wafers without damage to the dies. Thinner chips could be cheaper due to less material usage and higher clock speeds possible.

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