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research-article

Design of Tool for Exfoliation of Monocrystalline Micro-Scale Silicon Films

[+] Author and Article Information
Martin J. Ward

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 204 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78712-1591
mjward@utexas.edu

Michael Cullinan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 204 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78712-1591
michael.cullinan@austin.utexas.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043420 History: Received December 15, 2018; Revised March 30, 2019

Abstract

This paper presents the development of a prototype exfoliation tool and process for the fabrication of thin-film, single crystal silicon, which is a key material for creating high-performance flexible electronics. The process described in this paper is compatible with traditional wafer-based, metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication techniques which enables high performance devices fabricated using CMOS processes to be easily integrated into flexible electronic products like wearable or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The exfoliation method presented in this paper uses an electroplated nickel tensile layer and tension-controlled handle layer to propagate a crack across a wafer while controlling film thickness and reducing the surface roughness of the exfoliated devices as compared with previously reported exfoliation methods. Using this exfoliation tool, thin-film silicon samples are produced with a typical average surface roughness of 75 nm and a thickness that can be set anywhere between 5 µm and 35 µm by changing the exfoliation parameters.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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