Breaking wafers?

Mary Tang mtang at
Tue Sep 7 15:06:22 PDT 2004


I'd absolutely no idea about this.  I'd been told (by Len, the saw expert) that setting the diameter larger was helpful for the occasional problem in which the saw didn't cut all the way across, but maybe this is related to starting in the
middle...  This is easy to do in principle, but does mean we wouldn't be able to take advantage of a slow entry speed (though perhaps small insurance against breaking wafers...)

I'll try it out and see if I can likewise induce/cure the problem.

And unless I hear otherwise, I'll plan on adding Alan's method to the operating procedures and training...


"Myers, Alan M" wrote:

> Mary,
>         I used to have this problem every time I use the saw.  I learned the secret is to set the wafer diameter 200 mm whenever I get near the top of the wafer.  It may take a little longer, but at least the blades and the wafers remain intact.
> Alan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mary Tang [mailto:mtang at]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 2:37 PM
> To: wafersaw at
> Cc: rcrane; Paul Rissman; jhaydon
> Subject: Breaking wafers?
> Hi everyone --
> "rosti" dropped by my office to say that he was thinking about using the
> wafersaw, but was concerned about a problem he had experienced a couple
> of times in which the saw BROKE his wafer.  He says that instead of
> starting on the edge, in these instances, the saw blade dropped onto the
> middle of the wafer and thus broke his wafers.  The last instance that
> he observed was some time back last October or so.
> Now I'm worried!  Usually, when a wafer is ready for dicing, you've
> expended a lot of time and energy into it -- you simply can't afford to
> have it smashed.  I'm also really concerned because I've been training
> on the wafersaw for a couple of years now, but have not observed this
> problem nor had I heard about it from anyone (and here I thought I knew
> all the machine's quirks).  I had heard that it used to be a problem,
> but not seen since the system was basically rebuilt a few years ago.
> Now, I'm hearing otherwise...
> Has anyone else had this problem?  If so, could you let me know
> approximately when it happened and how often (if you were "lucky", like
> rosti, and got hit more than once?)  And maybe even the circumstances
> when it occurred (if you remember).  Your feedback will help us decide
> what to do (if the darned thing is breaking wafers intermittently, we
> may need to take it off-line...)
> And, most importantly, if you observe this or any other problem, please,
> please, please report it on Coral!  (I'm going back several years, and
> don't happen to see anything about the machine breaking wafers...)
> Thanks,
> Mary
> --
> Mary X. Tang, Ph.D.
> Stanford Nanofabrication Facility
> CIS Room 136, Mail Code 4070
> Stanford, CA  94305
> (650)723-9980
> mtang at

Mary X. Tang, Ph.D.
Stanford Nanofabrication Facility
CIS Room 136, Mail Code 4070
Stanford, CA  94305
mtang at

More information about the wafersaw mailing list