Influence of temperature and crystal orientation on tool wear during single point diamond turning of silicon

Saurav Goel, Xichun Luo*, Robert L. Reuben, Hongming Pen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to the capricious wear of cutting tools, ultra precision manufacturing of silicon through single point diamond turning (SPDT) operation becomes a challenging task. It thus becomes non-trivial to understand the contribution of temperature and crystal orientation during the SPDT process in order to suppress tool wear. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is an appropriate tool to study nanoscale processes occurring at the femtosecond/picosecond timescale which cannot otherwise be studied experimentally or by the finite element method (FEM). Accordingly, MD simulation has been deployed with a realistic analytical bond order potential (ABOP) formalism based potential energy function to simulate the single point diamond turning operation of single crystal silicon in order to understand the influence of temperature and crystal orientation on the tool wear mechanism. Results showed the strong influence of crystal orientation on the wear resistance of a diamond tool: cubic orientation performed better than dodecahedral orientation. It was also observed that high pressure phase transformation (HPPT) in the cutting zone was accompanied by the formation of dangling bonds of silicon. Under the influence of cutting temperature, the newly formed dangling bonds of silicon chemically combine with the pre-existing dangling bonds on the surface of the diamond tool resulting in the formation of silicon carbide (SiC), the main appearance of which was evident at the tool flank face. Continuous abrasion of the diamond cutting tool with SiC causes sp(3)-sp(2) disorder of the diamond tool. Hence, both these processes proceed in tandem with each other. The mechanism proposed here is in good agreement with a recent experimental study, where silicon carbide and carbon like particles were observed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscope (XPS) technology after machining a silicon wafer with a diamond tool. Crown Copyright (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2012


  • Single point diamond turning
  • Single crystal silicon
  • MD simulation
  • Tool wear
  • Crystal orientation


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