The Smart-Cut™ process and its variants involve H and/or He ion implantation and annealing to neatly exfoliate a layer of material as thin as the ion range. At low ion energy, as required for further miniaturisation, several effects may inhibit the process. We implanted undoped Si (100), (110) and (111) with 5 keV H or D ions at doses below (3–4×1016/cm2) or above (5.5×1016/cm2) the critical dose for blistering. The samples were either isochronally annealed for 1h or 2h in three steps at 500, 550 and 600°C, or subjected to thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) with linear ramps of 7.5 K/min up to 500, 550 or 600°C. The surface morphology was observed at each step by scanning electron or atomic force microscopy. Below the critical blistering dose, TDS only shows a broad high temperature (∼525°C) peak, while above that dose, a low temperature peak (∼360°C) also appears, though weakly in the case of (110) samples. The exfoliated area (as % of total surface) increases with temperature, and also varies with wafer orientation, being minimum for (110) samples and maximum for (111) samples. This orientation effect is much more pronounced for H-implants than for D-implants. All these trends indicate that ion channelling leads to an inhibition of exfoliation.