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Kerfless wafering refers to a process of manufacturing extremely thin slices (wafers) of silicon from a slab of silicon crystal. This method ensures minimum waste of material, hence high efficiency is guaranteed with cost conservation of expensive silicon. Kerf, tiny chips or shavings of metal, is not lost as waste and hence more wafers can be manufactured from the raw material.
Kerfless wafering, as the name suggests, is a method where there is minimal kerf by the end of production. This means costs can be reduced by efficient production methods.
Two methods of kerfless wafering are practiced: the implant and cleave process and the stress liftoff method. Implant and cleave is a two-step process which removes a cleavage of silicon from the ingot by first introducing or implanting ions in the silicon. The stress liftoff process lifts silicon off by applying stress on the thin film and silicon interface and then cutting the wafers by use of a thin wire.