This investigation explores the possibility and identifies the mechanism of damage free polishing of monocrystalline silicon without chemical additives. Using high resolution electron microscopy and contact mechanics, the study concludes that a damage free polishing process without chemicals is feasible. All forms of damages, such as amorphous Si, dislocations and plane shifting, can be eliminated by avoiding the initiation of the b tin phase of silicon during polishing. When using 50 nm abrasives, the nominal pressure to achieve damage free polishing is 20 kPa.
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