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Slice fracture problems can occur in a host of bare slice and patterned wafer fabrication processes. Some knowledge of how to diagnose the source of the fracture can aid in timely response to such problems. The purpose of this paper is to describe some of the tools and the techniques for analyzing silicon slice fractures. Included are: 1) a review of fracture markings in silicon similar to those in glasses and ceramics, plus a new marking that appears on crystalline fracture surfaces, 2) a description of inspection techniques and equipment and, 3) mention of some simple testing techniques. Examples are given of the use of markings and techniques in deducing probable causes of fracture and in enhancing process development in wafer fabrication.
slice fracture, silicon fracture analysis, use of fracture markings, wafer cracking
Sr. Member of Technical Staff, Texas Instruments, Sherman, Texas