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The Geometry of Catastrophic Fracture during High Temperature Processing of Silicon

Tanner, B.K.; Garagorri, J.; Gorostegui-Colinas, E.; Elizalde, M.R.; Bytheway, R.; McNally, P.J.; Danilewsky, A.N.

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B.K. Tanner

J. Garagorri

E. Gorostegui-Colinas

M.R. Elizalde

R. Bytheway

P.J. McNally

A.N. Danilewsky


The geometry of fracture associated with the propagation of cracks originating at the edges of (001) oriented, 200 mm diameter silicon wafers has been investigated under two regimes of high temperature processing. Under spike annealing, fracture did not occur on low index planes and all except one wafer exhibited crack patterns that started initially to run radially, but after a distance of typically 20–30 mm, turned and ran almost tangentially. Wafers subjected to plateau annealing, with a 60 s dwell time at high temperature, predominantly fractured through radial cracks running along ⟨110⟩ directions. X-ray diffraction imaging reveals substantial slip in all wafers subjected to plateau annealing. We demonstrate using finite element (FE) modelling that the change in fracture geometry is associated with this plastic deformation, which changes the stress distribution during the cooling phase of the rapid thermal annealing cycle. FE simulations without plastic relaxation show that the radial component of the thermal stress distribution is compressive in the centre of the wafer, causing the crack to run tangentially. Simulations incorporating temperature dependent plasticity showed that the equivalent stress becomes tensile when the plateau anneal allows time for significant plastic relaxation, permitting the crack to continue propagating linearly.


Tanner, B., Garagorri, J., Gorostegui-Colinas, E., Elizalde, M., Bytheway, R., McNally, P., & Danilewsky, A. (2015). The Geometry of Catastrophic Fracture during High Temperature Processing of Silicon. International Journal of Fracture, 195(1-2), 79-85.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 22, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2015
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 3, 2015
Journal International Journal of Fracture
Print ISSN 0376-9429
Electronic ISSN 1573-2673
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 195
Issue 1-2
Pages 79-85
Keywords Silicon, Rapid thermal annealing, X-ray diffraction imaging, Crack propagation.


Accepted Journal Article (859 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Open Access © The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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