Kerfless Wafering

Kerfless wafering is a manufacturing process that produces very thin wafers of silicon from a crystal ingot with minimal waste material. Conventional wafering uses a wire saw to cut the ingot into wafers, and the material removed by the cutting blade, known as kerf, is lost as waste. The two main kerfless-wafering approaches being pursued are an implant and cleave process and a stress liftoff method. Implant and cleave is a two-step process that implants ions into crystalline silicon (c-Si) to form a subsurface cleave layer that is propagated through the crystal lattice to enable a very thin wafer to be removed. Stress liftoff is a technique that separates the silicon via induced stress at the interface of silicon and a deposited thin film.

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