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Intensive efforts have been put into the growth of silicon crystals to suit today's solar cell and integrated circuit requirements. Each step of processing the crystal must also receive concentrated attention to preserve the grown-in perfection and to provide a suitable device-ready wafer at reasonable cost.
A comparison is made between solar cell and I.C. requirements on the mechanical processing of silicon from ingot to wafer. Specific defects are described that can ruin wafers or can possibly lead to device degradation. These include grinding cracks, saw exit chips, crow's-foot fractures, edge cracks, and handling scratches.
silicon damage, ingot fracture, wafer cracks, mechanical processing
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Texas Instruments Inc., Sherman, Texas