We describe a post release die separation process for polysilicon surface micromachines using a combination of diamond scribing and breaking. The process resulted in yields above 80% for two types of electrostatic actuators. The paper describes the experimental apparatus and optimization of the process using a four parameter design of experiments. We determined that the two key parameters in the scribe-and-break process are the scribe force and the scribe angle. We also examined the theory of crack creation during the scribing process and determined experimentally that the crack depth in silicon is consistent with the theory developed for the scribing of glass.

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