In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, wafer handling introduces micro-cracks at the wafer edge. During heat treatment these can produce larger, long range cracks in the wafer which can cause wafer breakage during manufacture. Two complimentary techniques, micro-Raman spectroscopy (μRS) and White Beam Synchrotron X-ray Topography (WBSXRT) were employed to study both the micro-cracks and the associated strain fields produced by nano-indentations in Si wafers, which were used as a means of introducing controlled strain in the wafers. It is shown that both the spatial lateral and depth distribution of these long range strain fields are relatively isotropic in nature. The Raman spectra suggest the presence of a region under tensile strain beneath the indents, which can indicate a crack beneath the indent and the data strongly suggests that there exists a minimum critical applied load below which cracking will not initiate. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.