McCarter Superfinish Grinding for Silicon - An Update

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4145:
Advances in X-Ray Optics

Frank M. Anthony, Ali M. Khounsary, Douglas R. McCarter,  Felix Krasnickib, and Matt Tangedahl

McCarter Technology, Inc. 1312 Underwood Road Deer Park, Texas 77536

Argonne National Laboratory Argonne, IL 60439


A grinding technique, referred to as the McCarter Superfinish, for grinding large size optical components is discussed and certain surface characterization information about flatness and the relative magnitude of the subsurface damage in silicon substrates is reported.  The flatness measurements were obtained with a Zygo surface analyzer, and the substrate damage measurements were made by x-ray diffraction and acid etching.

Results indicate excellent control of flatness and fine surface finish.  X-ray measurements show that the diamond wheels with small particle sizes used in the final phases of the grinding operation renders surfaces with relatively small subsurface damage.

(Our paper can be downloaded here or email Doug McCarter at

McCarter Superfinish for Silicon

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3782:
Optical Manufacturing and Testing III

Frank A. Anthony, Douglas R. McCarter, Jeffrey L. Bertelsen, and Matt Tangedahl

McCarter Machine Co., Inc, 1312 Underwood Road, Deer Park, Texas 77536


At the 1998 ASPE Meeting in Carmel, California there was much discussion of surface and subsurface damage introduced into silicon by machining operations.  Many investigators have studied the problem and have defined parameters of importance.  Yet there is a need for costly and time-consuming post-machining operations, such as lapping, if items of highest quality are to be produced.  Significant cost reductions should be possible with machining techniques that introduce minimal damage.  The combination of tool selection and treatment, speed and feed parameters, coolant choice and talent has resulted in the improved machining process.  This process reduces damage without increasing machining cost.  Although the McCarter Superfinish is a proprietary procedure the resulting surface condition will be compared with that of conventional machining.  Data supplied by a customer is the basis for the comparison.

An acknowledgement of thanks is extended to ASPE and to Dr. Puttick, University of Surrey, Surrey England for alerting us to this need.

(Our paper can be downloaded here or email Doug McCarter at