In the present paper, continuum fracture mechanics is used to analyze the Smart-Cut process, a recently established ion cut technology which enables highly efficient fabrication of various silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers of very high uniformity in thickness. Using integral transform and Cauchy singular integral equation methods, the mode-I and mode-II stress intensity factors, energy release rate and crack opening displacements are derived in order to examine several important fracture mechanisms involved in the Smart-Cut process. The effects of defect interaction and stiffening wafer on defect growth are investigated. The numerical results indicate that a stiffener/handle wafer can effectively prevent the donor wafer from blistering and exfoliation, but it slows down the defect growth by decreasing the magnitudes of SIFs. Defect interaction also plays an important role in the splitting process of SOI wafers, but its contribution depends strongly on the size, interval and internal pressure of defects. Finally, an analytical formula is derived to estimate the implantation dose required for splitting a SOI wafer.