Silicon is the primary semiconductor material used to fabricate microchips. The quality of microchips depends directly on the quality of starting silicon wafers. A series of processes are required to manufacture high quality silicon wafers. Surface grinding is one of the processes used to flatten the wire-sawn wafers. A major issue in grinding of wire-sawn wafers is the reduction and elimination of wire-sawing induced waviness. Several approaches (namely, combination of grinding and lapping, reduced chuck vacuum, soft-pad, and wax mounting) have been proposed to address this issue. The results of finite element analysis modeling of these approaches have shown that soft-pad grinding is the most promising approach since it is very effective in reducing the waviness and very easy to be adopted to conventional grinding environment. This paper presents a study of finite element analysis on soft-pad grinding of wire-sawn silicon wafers, covering the mechanisms of waviness reduction and the effects of pad material properties.

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