Diamond sawing using diamond blades is the preferred current process of wafer dicing nowadays. This method evolved from diamond scribing and breaking which was the original technique used for wafer dicing. Other methods include but are not limited to: laser scribing and breaking, back etching, and slurry sawing.
Gila Tools diamond blades feature circular steel discs with industrial diamonds on its periphery, their edges bear one of three configurations: segmented, continuous rim, or serrated. The blade cores are precision-made with slots that provide faster cooling by allowing water or air to flow between the segments. They are tensioned at the factory so that they always run straight at cutting speeds, giving you smooth and precise cuts throughout. Our diamond saw blades are engineered for strength and reliability and are designed to withstand hard use to deliver optimal strength even when working on the harshest and most abrasive materials.
The rationale for using diamond blades in wafer dicing over the traditional scribing and breaking is that even with a well-maintained scribe diamond, consistent 100% break out yield is not achievable. At least some components will either be chipped or attached to sections of unwanted silicon.
Also, few breakouts are vertical, which makes scribing difficult for automatic die bonding, especially if the pick up tool used has been designed to make edge contact with the chip (a ‘collet’). Scribed dice also tend to ‘ride over each other’ during handling, whereas with vertical edges, the chips stick firmly against each other.
Lastly, scribing will not work effectively on dielectrically isolated integrated circuits or anything made of amorphous or polycrystalline silicon, which doesn’t fracture neatly.
A typical blade is a thin stainless steel disc, to the edge of which fine diamond grit has been resin-bonded. The resultant saw (more properly, a grinder) is able to cut slits in the silicon, which are only 70µm wide. The once traditional method of scribe and break is now used only rarely for silicon and is generally limited to brittle material such as gallium arsenide.
Wafer dicing is the process by which die are separated from a wafer of semiconductor following the processing of the wafer.