Engineering Controlled Spalling in (100)-Oriented GaAs for Wafer Reuse

Cassi A. Sweet, Joshua E. McNeely, Brian Gorman, David L. Young, Aaron J. Ptak, Corinne E. Packard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Controlled spalling offers a way to cleave thin, single-crystal films or devices from wafers, particularly if the fracture planes in the material are oriented parallel to the wafer surface. Unfortunately, misalignment between the favored fracture planes and the wafer surface preferred for photovoltaic growth in (100)-oriented GaAs produces a highly faceted surface when subject to controlled spalling. This highly faceted cleavage surface is problematic in several ways: (1) it can result in large variations of spall depth due to unstable crack propagation; (2) it may introduce defects into the device zone or underlying substrate; and (3) it consumes many microns of material outside of the device zone. We present the ways in which we have engineered controlled spalling for (100)-oriented GaAs to minimize these effects. We expand the operational window for controlled spalling to avoid spontaneous spalling, find no evidence of dislocation activity in the spalled film or the parent wafer, and reduce facet height and facet height irregularity. Resolving these issues provides a viable path forward for reducing III-V device cost through the controlled spalling of (100)-oriented GaAs devices and subsequent wafer reuse when these processes are combined with a high-throughput growth method such as Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2015
Event2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) - New Orleans, Louisiana
Duration: 14 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


Conference2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC)
CityNew Orleans, Louisiana

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-64426


  • 100 orientation
  • controlled spalling
  • GaAs
  • solar cells
  • spalling


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