Ceramic dicing

Ceramic (Alumina) dicing

Dicing through hard and brittle materials creates both mounting and quality problems.
A resin-bond blade is an excellent choice for hard and brittle materials like ceramic.

Major considerations

To reach the best cut quality during the dicing process operator has to consider:

  • cracks
  • chipping

Choose the right blade

Choosing the right blade, right mounting and set-up demands knowledge, experience and patience

  • Ceramic material consists of aluminum oxide in 96-99.6% concentrations
  • Hardness increases when aluminum oxide concentration increases
  • It has good electric features, high mechanical strength and low dielectric losses at high frequencies
  • Standard thicknesses are 0.1 to 5.0 mm.

Choose the right mounting

Besides choosing the right blade also choosing the right mounting and set-up demands knowledge, experience and patience.
Looking at the right mounting we have a few choices:

Adhesive or wax on carriers
These are activated between 80°c and 150°C and made of hard mylar 50µm-380µm thick, paper carriers, mesh type reinforcement etc. Easy to handle as product is ready to use, dimensions quite the same and adhesive layer/wax layer is uniform. Mounting is done on a heated plate with additional mechanical fixtures or manually. Important is to ensure there are no air gaps and clamping substrate is done parallel to the carrier.

Adhesive and wax mounting
Common used on extra thin and brittle materials with high Cut quality demands. Waxes normally with low melting point (65°C), easy handling, accurate mounting and easy removal. Possibility to achieve high cut quality when mounting thin substrates to thicker support substrates as unfired ceramics, glass, ferrites, sintered lava and others. Lava substrate also cleans and opens dicing blade. The wax also fills the gaps of non-flat substrates. Handling (Dismounting) and cleaning takes however more time. (Extra heating). Further some products are not allowed to be heated or cleaned. Then this method is not chosen. Also not for applications with die attach process.

Tape mounting
Most common used for thin substrates in production lines with die bonding process afterwards. Tapes are used as carriers for the dicing and bonding process. Main application silicon wafer from 0.127mm up to 0.63mm thick and hard alumina substrates. PVS is most common used tape (0.076mm)

Mechanical fixture
Used for complicated parts with special geometry when conventional clamping is almost or not possible. Problem is often the back side chipping. Further possible over exposure causes vibration and lower cut quality. Therefor thicker blades have better cut quality.