Wafer scale exfoliation of monocrystalline micro-scale silicon films

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Ward, Martin John

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This thesis presents a new method and tool for controlling the thicknesses and quality of exfoliated monocrystalline silicon thin-films. The resulting films can be used to create high-performance and cost-effective flexible electronic devices. A finite element linear elastic fracture mechanics study was performed to understand the parameters that control the exfoliation process. Then a metamodel was created from the simulation results to inform the design and operation of a new exfoliation tool. This new tool creates a controlled peeling force that propagates the crack in a precise manner. A new metrology system was developed using a combination of laser displacement sensors and confocal microscopy to characterize the quality of the exfoliated films. The results of the new process show improvement in the uniformity and quality of the exfoliation compared to previous methods and confirms the ability of the new tool to steer the crack trajectory.


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