ISSN 10637397, Russian Microelectronics, 2011, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 395–402. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
Original Russian Text © S.M. Pintus, V.Yu. Karasev, E.V. Gladchenkov, 2011, published in Mikroelektronika, 2011, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 430–440.
Hailed as a material of the 21st century, diamond is
generating increasing attention by electronic engi
neers thanks to its exceptional hardness, thermal con
ductivity, chemical and radiation resistance, and other
qualities. . However, apart from test specimens, few
results have been achieved from repeated efforts to
introduce it into microelectronics that have been
made for half a century. The following considerations
might help one see reasons for this fact.
As is well known, microelectronics processing gen
erally involves semiconductor surface preparation,
which may include lapping, chemical mechanical pol
ishing, chemical etching, or vacuum annealing. Being
highly resistant to attack by alkalis, acids, and solvents,
diamond wafer surfaces can generally be finished by
mechanical means only, using diamond tools .
Attempts to do so chemically, by thermal or plasma
treatment, have not been commercially successful so
far, although the former has found application outside
electronics manufacturing as a technique of sharpen
ing diamond scalpels for eye surgery, in which case
diamonds are dissolved in an iron, nickel, or another
transition metal at over 900 K. Rareearth metals
(cerium and lanthanum) were found inadequate for
surface treatment even at 1500 K.
Plasma processing is a popular method for etching
silicon or gallium arsenide, and it is also being investi
gated extensively in the context of diamonds, given
that carbon is known to form volatile compounds with
any gaseous component of microelectronics plasma
processes (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine).
Reports on this avenue of research have come from the
United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France,
and Japan [3–5]. The main challenges are to achieve
an etch rate close to 30
m/h and to determine process
conditions for surface finishing.
Today, plasmaetch rates of diamonds are typically
m/h and never exceed 10
m/h. One might
expect to obtain higher etch rates by 300keV ion
bombardment at a plasma density of an order of
and a surface temperature as high as 700–
800 K. Such process conditions are impractical with
silicon because the highenergy ions would produce
defects in the silicon and the high surface temperature
would make anisotropic etching impossible.
Current industrial techniques of machining diamond
crystals rely on their susceptibility to impact shear load
and on the property of crystals to split along specific
directions. Machining is usually performed at a tool pres
sure and a feed speed so high  as to allow one to apply
the Hertz and Auerbach models , in which surface
fracture proceeds by microscopic shearing.
Diamondmachining processes in current use are
efficient with a broad range of products (diamonds,
diamond anvils, heat sinks for highpower solidstate
devices, etc.), but are still unable to meet the stringent
standards of modern microelectronics or optics. The
problem is especially acute with optical systems for the
ultraviolet range .
In a wider context, advances in diamond surface
engineering should make the crystals useful in diverse
areas of science and technology, and in other aspects
of human culture.
In a previous paper, we briefly reported an alternative
method for the precision preparation of diamond sur
faces that involved excitation of coherent traveling elastic
waves on a surface and, hence, throughout the specimen
. This allows one to reduce the maximum applied
pressure by one or more orders of magnitude as com
pared with conventional finishing. Also mentioned was
the finding that under wave treatment, the material is
mainly removed as nanoclusters from the surface .
Wave treatment enabled us to reduce diamond sur
face irregularities to 0.5 nm, a level suitable for the het
eroepitaxial growth of silicon to the modern standards
of the electronics industry .
Wave Phenomena in the Finishing of Diamond Crystals
S. M. Pintus, V. Yu. Karasev, and E. V. Gladchenkov
Micropribor Research and Production Company, Moscow, Russia
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received December 16, 2010
—A novel physical model is presented for mechanical finishing of diamond crystals by the excitation
of coherent traveling elastic waves, using special algorithms to control the motion of an abrasive tool over a
work surface. The practicability of the method is shown in the context of isotropiccontinuum dynamics. A
mechanism of finishing is discussed, whereby the material is removed as nanoclusters in the quantal mode of
wave absorption, taking into account entropy production. A relation is derived between entropy production
and the mean roughness of the work surface.
IN MICRO AND NANOELECTRONICS