This paper reports the performance enhancement benefits in diamond turning of the silicon wafer by incorporation of the surface defect machining (SDM) method. The hybrid micromachining methods usually require additional hardware to leverage the added advantage of hybrid technologies such as laser heating, cryogenic cooling, electric pulse or ultrasonic elliptical vibration. The SDM method tested in this paper does not require any such additional baggage and is easy to implement in a sequential micro-machining mode. This paper made use of Raman spectroscopy data, average surface roughness data and imaging data of the cutting chips of silicon for drawing a comparison between conventional single-point diamond turning (SPDT) and SDM while incorporating surface defects in the (i) circumferential and (ii) radial directions. Complementary 3D finite element analysis (FEA) was performed to analyse the cutting forces and the evolution of residual stress on the machined wafer. It was found that the surface defects generated in the circumferential direction with an interspacing of 1 mm revealed the lowest average surface roughness (Ra) of 3.2 nm as opposed to 8 nm Ra obtained through conventional SPDT using the same cutting parameters. The observation of the Raman spectroscopy performed on the cutting chips showed remnants of phase transformation during the micromachining process in all cases. FEA was used to extract quantifiable information about the residual stress as well as the sub-surface integrity and it was discovered that the grooves made in the circumferential direction gave the best machining performance.
The information being reported here is expected to provide an avalanche of opportunities in the SPDT area for low-cost machining solution for a range of other nominal hard, brittle materials such as SiC, ZnSe and GaAs as well as hard steels.