How can Fiber Lasers be used in the Drilling of Silicon Wafers?

Fiber lasers can be used for a range of applications, a particular favourite is drilling. Working with many materials, fiber lasers are especially useful at drilling silicon wafers. These are especially used in printed circuit board and solar cell manufacture, which we go on to discuss below.

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Silicon can be effectively drilled using fiber lasers

What are the Characteristics of silicon?

Silicon is a metalloid and is commonly used throughout many industries. Silicon is often used as a compound and as an alloy. Due to its semi-conductive qualities, Silicon is very popular in the electronics (particularly printed circuit boards), semiconductor, solar and automotive industries.

How Can Lasers drill silicon?

Silicon is just one of the materials, which fiber lasers are ideal for drilling. The combination of a high wattage output with high pulse duration makes fiber lasers perfect for high-volume combined with intricate laser drilling. Often lasers are the only viable solution for the drilling of high-volume operations such as the manufacturing of solar cells.

Why are fiber lasers ideal for drilling silicon?

Here are just some of the reasons why fiber lasers are perfect for drilling of silicon wafers:

  • Accuracy – the drill holes produced are highly accurate
  • Material intact – the surrounding area to the silicon wafer being drilled are left intact
  • No edge melting – there will be no melting of materials around the edge of the area being drilled
  • No micro cracks – the laser drilling process produces no micro cracks, which is often the case with other forms of drilling
  • Non-contact – the entire process is non-contact reducing risks of staff injury and contamination of the silicon
  • Repeatable – the process is highly repeatable and will produce consistent results
  • Speed – the process is extremely fast, which has major benefits in high-volume operations (e.g. the production of high volumes of solar cells)

Related articles to silicon processing

Other SPI content relating to silicon processing includes:



Contacting SPI Lasers

Purchase a fiber laser from SPI and you open up your organisation to a world of drilling capabilities, including smooth drilling of silicon. Multi-functionality is opened up, through a range of laser applications. Buy one of our pulsed or continuous wave fiber lasers after contacting us for advice on which one will best suit your needs.


Image Credit: Jack Spades


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