Thin Silicon Wafers | How Thin Silicon Wafers are Made Possible


December 10, 2019

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Most integrated circuits, if not all, are manufactured using thin silicon wafers. They’re one of the most crucial components in all electronic devices. The increasing demand for thin silicon wafers is pushing silicon wafer manufacturers to up their game to achieve the desired wafer flatness requirements. Aside from this, wafer manufacturers are also under constant pressure to cut down on wafer cost. Good thing, wafer back grinding can help achieve a flat surface and reduce cost at the same time. If your next project has something to do with thin silicon wafers, then you might want to find out how their flatness is achieved.

The Beginning Process

To protect wafers from mechanical damage and from getting contaminated during wafer back grinding, they must first go through the cleaning and surface lamination process. Wafer back grinding refers to the process of grinding the backside of wafers to achieve the desired thickness before assembly. It’s also termed as wafer thinning. Before the increasing demand for thinner electronic devices, wafer back grind used to be unnecessary.  Today, most package types in the semiconductor industry have a wafer thickness requirement ranging from 8 mils to 20 mils.

Lamination Begins

After cleaning and surface lamination process, surface-laminated wafers are then deposited into the back grinding machine. The machine will then pick up the wafers from their backside for back grinding. Using a grinding wheel, the wafers will be thinned following the required set of parameters to ensure proper back grinding. The basic set of settings includes the following: spindle speed, flow rate, feed speeds, spindle coolant water temperature, deionized water temperature, and initial and final wafer thickness.

Final Steps

To get rid of the impurities from the wafers during back grinding, the wafers are washed continuously with deionized water while undergoing back grinding.

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