St. Petersburg physicists have developed a plant that allows to cut sapphire crystals into almost ideally smooth plates being fractions of millimeter thick. The approach suggested by the researchers fundamentally differs from the traditional one. They suggest that sapphire should not be sawn by a saw, but split by laser.
It is quite common that a title like “A plant for laser scribing of sapphire wafers” would surprise an ordinary person but it sounds like music for specialists. It is an exceptionally useful, and unique device produced in St. Petersburg by the specialists of the MULTITECH company. It is intended to produce multiple individual finished microchips out of a whole sapphire plate with marked chip structures called “wafers”.
Microchips on sapphire and quartz substrates have been made so far in a simple and rough way: the crystal is slit by a thin metal disk with diamantine. The process is extremely unproductive. On the one hand, the disc possesses its own thickness that makes hundreds of microns. On the other hand, due to such rough processing the edges of the slit plates are covered by cracks all over. That is why a major part of the material is wasted – only one third or a quarter of feedstock can be used for the above purpose.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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