This is a demonstration of how I cleave 100 crystal orientation silicon wafers for my home chip lab. Choosing the wafer parameters outside of the 100 orientation will be covered in another video.

For this you’ll need:
Gloves, tweezers, an exacto knife or diamond scribe, zip lock storage bags and a soft surface, such as clean room wipes or a rubber mat.

100 wafers have a crystal lattice line that runs perpendicular and parallel to the primary flat or on large wafers the notch. We’ll be taking advantage of this natural cleave direction to make square or rectangular pieces that are smaller and easier to handle. Other wafer crystal orientations will break into triangular shapes and will not be as convenient for later processes.

The most common wafers you’ll run into will be polished on one side and dull on the other. Place the dull side down on the soft surface.

Now gently nick the edge of either the primary flat or 90degs from the primary flat. I prefer nicking the primary flat, because it’s very intuitive where the break will happen.

Take one half of the wafer and nick along the primary flat again to make a long thin strip.

Rotate the strip 90 degrees and cleave smaller rectangles or squares.

Rinse each piece preferably with deionized water and store one per zip lock bag to prevent scratches. Don’t forget to mark the wafer parameters on the bags. It can be difficult and inconvenient to determine what type later on.

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