Laser scribing is a partial cut usually followed by breaking.

Scribing is differentiated from dicing, which is a full cut,

typically on tape. 


Typical considerations in LED and device

scribing applications are the accuracy of

the groove placement, minimal heat

affect zone (HAZ), narrowest kerf

width possible (down to 2.5 µm)

to allow more usable die per

wafer, and the maximum

processing speeds possible

for the highest throughput.

Scribing is the term used within the semiconductor industry to describe the die singulation technique whereby the wafer or substrate is only partially cut through by one process tool, and then divided  into individual die by a subsequent ”breaking” step that separates the wafer along the scribed lines. In this respect, scribing is different to dicing, where the wafer is fully cut through in a single process step.  Scribing has application in many semiconductor technologies, and is particularly used in the LED and III-V industries which are characterized by relatively small wafers having narrow die-separation streets.

LED wafers are expensive, so wafer real estate is valuable. The tighter,


narrower and cleaner cuts achieved using UV lasers provide a better die count per wafer as well as higher yields, due to fewer damaged die than with conventional saw scribing methods.

IPG scribing systems offer high-precision production proven processes that optimize results and offer users the flexibility to adjust process parameters in response to specific application needs.

IPG’s systems typically used in laser scribing can be configured for manual load, or with fully automated part handling and machine vision for highest throughput and unattended operation.

Sapphire Scribing

Sapphire scribing is performed on wafers used in LED manufacture using proprietary line-beam technology. The narrow kerf allows tighter die packing density and higher wafer yield. The line beam enables greater utilization of available laser power with reduced heating affect, leading to high scribing throughput. This example shows sapphire scribing for LED device singulation, kerf width 2.5 µm.

System: Sapphire Wafer Scriber

Lasers: picosecond lasers


GaAs and GaP Wafer Scribing

The throughput of one laser scribing system can replace and exceed the capacity of multiple traditional die separation tools combined. Pictured is GaP scribing at 300 mm/s for a 30 μm deep cut, which is deep enough to break wafers up to about 250 µm thick. UV laser scribing speed for similar wafers are up to 6 minutes as compared to 2 hours with saw and diamond cutting tools.

Lasers: picosecond lasers, green ns pulsed lasers,  UV ns  pulsed lasers


Silicon Carbide Scribing

The use of silicon carbide is rapidly increasing for high voltage and high-power components, including Wide Bandgap (WBG) semiconductors.  Scribing techniques include trench-ablation, and also a proprietary internal material scribe that results in low debris and very easy die breaking and separation. Figure shows 100 μm SiC scribed at 300 mm/sec.

Lasers: picosecond lasers, green ns pulsed lasers,  UV ns  pulsed lasers

  Sic scribing 
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