Diamond is the hardest known naturally-occuring material and, for this reason, it is widely believed to be a superior cutting tool material for nanometric cutting of silicon for various ultra precision engineering applications. In this paper, a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been done to assess the performance of second ultra-hard material, cubic boron nitride (CBN), during the nanometric cutting of single crystal silicon. While cutting silicon with a CBN tool, MD results indicate a high magnitude of high pressure phase transformation (HPPT) in the cutting zone compared to what is achievable with a diamond tool. It was found that CBN caused the transformation of silicon from its stable diamond cubic lattice structure to FCC lattice structure in the cutting zone which produced better metallic response during cutting. Thus, the CBN tool generated a better ductile regime by the virtue of HPPT. Based on further analysis, it was concluded that a CBN tool can be more conducive for nanometric cutting of silicon and an effective substitute for a costly diamond tool.
- high pressure phase transformation (HPPT)
- nanometric cutting