Semiconductor and Electronics


Precision Cuts: How Wafer Cutting Fluids Shape the Semiconductor Industry

Author : Priyanka | September 24, 2023

Are you running a semiconductor manufacturing firm and want to improve your wafer cutting process and increase your yields? Then you must harness the power of wafer cutting fluids.

According to a comprehensive report by Kings Research, the Wafer Cutting Fluids Market is estimated to garner USD 2,447.6 million in revenue by 2030, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.95% from 2023 to 2030. These specialized fluids can make a big difference in the quality and efficiency of your wafer-cutting process, but choosing the right one is key.

In this blog, we’ll explore the world of wafer cutting fluids and discover the perfect solution for your semiconductor manufacturing needs.

Wafer Cutting Fluids: Cutting Edge Solutions in Manufacturing

Wafer cutting fluids are specialized fluids used in the process of cutting semiconductor wafers. These fluids are designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the wafer cutting process, resulting in higher yields and better overall quality. They come in a variety of formulations and are chosen based on the specific cutting process being used. They are typically made with a combination of water, oil, and other additives and have different compatibilities due to the materials being used in the cutting equipment.

Increase Your Yields and Quality with Wafer Cutting Fluids

Various categories of cutting fluids are available with unique properties and advantages, including:

  • Straight Oils

Neat-cutting oils, commonly referred to as straight oils, serve as effective wafer cutting fluids during machining operations. These fluids consist of oils derived from minerals or vegetables, offer lubrication, and diminish the friction experienced between the cutting tool and the workpiece. They offer benefits such as:

  1. Stability, low foaming, and compatibility with various materials
  2. Excellent lubrication properties
  3. They are ideal for heavy-duty machining

Straight oils have limited cooling capabilities and may require additional cleaning. Despite this drawback, straight oils are preferred for their lubrication properties and are often used in several machining applications.

  • Soluble Oils

Soluble oils, or emulsifiable oils, are commonly utilized by industries as cutting fluids in machining processes. These fluids include a combination of mineral or synthetic oils and emulsifiers, enabling them to be easily mixed with water.

Soluble oils provide numerous benefits, some of which are listed below:

  1. They have exceptional cooling and lubrication properties
  2. They have the ability to efficiently disperse heat
  3. They can enhance tool longevity and surface appearance

Moreover, they offer effective safeguards against rust and corrosion for both the workpiece and the tool. Soluble oils display great versatility and can be applied in numerous machining operations.

  • Synthetic Fluids

Synthetic fluid is a commonly employed cutting fluid in machining procedures. It is formulated of synthetic base oils and incorporates several additives to ensure optimal performance.

Synthetic fluids come with numerous benefits viz.,

  1. Superior cooling and lubrication characteristics.
  2. Suitable for operations conducted at high temperatures.
  3. Ability to prolong the lifespan of the tool.

Additionally, synthetic wafer cutting fluids offer consistent cutting performance, corrosion protection, long fluid life, and reduced environmental impact, which makes them popular for demanding machining applications.

  • Semi-Synthetic Fluids

Semi-synthetic fluid, in the realm of cutting fluids, is a unique type that offers a blend of advantages from both synthetic and soluble oils. This particular fluid comprises a combination of synthetic base oils, water, and various additives. It provides the following benefits:

  1. It offers excellent cooling and lubrication properties
  2. It is compatible with various materials
  3. It is cost-effective

Due to their compatibility, semi-synthetic fluids are widely used in machining operations.

Novel Innovations in Wafer Cutting Fluids That Boost Productivity and Quality

Notable advancements are revolutionizing wafer cutting technology by enhancing precision, minimizing damage, and increasing throughput in the semiconductor industry.

1. Cooling and Lubricating Cutting Fluids

BASF's SelurisTM range provides an all-round solution for cutting, etching, texturing, and doping mono- and polycrystalline solar cells. The company combines chemicals specifically made for the solar cell manufacturing process, such as high-purity silicon blocks.

BASF wafer cutting fluids serve as cooling and lubricating agents while etching and texturing chemicals eliminate saw damage and patterning. High-purity phosphorus oxychloride (POCl3) is used for doping. BASF is working on innovative solutions to optimize production processes and increase solar cell efficiency, resulting in greater profitability for customers.

2. Water-based Cutting Fluids

UDM Systems® has redefined the solar and semiconductor sectors with its distinctive fluid products for cutting wafers. Its products are completely biodegradable, non-corrosive, and safe for the environment. To meet wafer cutting and singulation needs, UDM provides a variety of options. For ingot and boule wafering, its water-based cutting fluids and cleaners are ideal. These innovative and yet low-maintenance products use a thinner wire to slice thinner wafers, delivering higher profits.

3. Efficient KerfAid Cutting Fluid

KerfAid, a wafer cutting fluid, when used with water in the dicing saw process, enhances the quality of the kerf. The unique molecular structure of KerfAid allows water to remove loose particles and ensures thorough wetting of the wafer. When it is injected into the water stream using the DXL Lubricant Injector, it creates a well-balanced mixture that is distributed evenly across the wafer, maximizing the effectiveness of the additive. This combination of KerfAid and water optimizes the kerf quality and improves the overall dicing process.

4. Surface Tension-Free Dicing Solutions

Keteca Diamaflow dicing solutions and dispensing systems improve wafer cleaning and reduce corrosion on bonding pads, resulting in higher die yields per wafer. By mixing Diamaflow with D.I. water, the mixture reduces water surface tension by over 50%, preventing dry spots and direct contact between wafer dust and wafer. This reduces friction, improves cut quality, and extends the dicing blade's lifetime. Additionally, increased lubricity and reduced loading on the blade increase wafer saw throughput.

Final Thoughts

Wafer cutting fluids can have a significant impact on the semiconductor manufacturing process. By improving the accuracy and efficiency of wafer cutting, these specialized fluids can help increase yields and improve overall product quality. These fluids are the perfect solution for taking your semiconductor manufacturing to the next level. With the correct wafer cutting fluid, you can achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.

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