This paper investigated the scribing process characteristics of the hard and brittle materials including single crystal silicon, STV glass, and sapphire substrate. Under various cutting angles, major process characteristics are examined including the groove geometry, specific cutting energy, and critical depth of cut at the onset of ductile-to-brittle cutting transition. As the cutting depth increases, groove geometry clearly reveals the ductile-to-brittle transition from the plastic deformation to a brittle fracture state. The material size effect in the ductile region as well as the transition in scribing behavior is well reflected by change in the specific cutting energy. Further, it is shown that the change of specific cutting energy as a function of the cutting depth can serve as a criterion for estimating the critical depth of cut. Such estimated critical depth of cut is confirmed by measurement from a 3D confocal microscope. The critical depths of cut for these hard materials are found to be between 0.1μm and 0.5μm depending on the materials and cutting angles.

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