Elimination of strength degrading effects caused by surface microdefect: A prevention achieved by silicon nanotexturing to avoid catastrophic brittle fracture

Kunal Kashyap, Amarendra Kumar, Chuan Torng Huang, Yu Yun Lin, Max T. Hou, J. Andrew Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The unavoidable occurrence of microdefects in silicon wafers increase the probability of catastrophic fracture of silicon-based devices, thus highlighting the need for a strengthening mechanism to minimize fractures resulting from defects. In this study, a novel mechanism for manufacturing silicon wafers was engineered based on nanoscale reinforcement through surface nanotexturing. Because of nanotexturing, different defect depths synthetically emulated as V-notches, demonstrated a bending strength enhancement by factors of 2.5, 3.2, and 6 for 2-, 7-, and 14-μm-deep V-notches, respectively. A very large increase in the number of fragments observed during silicon fracturing was also indicative of the strengthening effect. Nanotextures surrounding the V-notch reduced the stress concentration factor at the notch tip and saturated as the nanotexture depth approached 1.5 times the V-notch depth. The stress reduction at the V-notch tip measured by micro-Raman spectroscopy revealed that nanotextures reduced the effective depth of the defect. Therefore, the nanotextured samples were able to sustain a larger fracture force. The enhancement in Weibull modulus, along with an increase in bending strength in the nanotextured samples compared to polished single-crystal silicon samples, demonstrated the reliability of the strengthening method. These results suggest that this method may be suitable for industrial implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10869
JournalScientific reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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