This paper discusses the surfaces of silicon wafers cut from crystals and subjected to grinding and optical and chemical-mechanical polishing. An optical model of the surface, including a layer with an altered refractive index and a layer with induced optical anisotropy, was used to determine the presence of a disturbed layer. Four ellipsometric techniques were used to investigate the surface of the wafers. Two of them determine the refractive-index variation, and the other two determine the presence of induced optical anisotropy.

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