Reliability analysis of foil substrate based integration of silicon chips
Flexible electronics has attracted significant attention in the recent past due to the booming wearables market in addition to the ever-increasing interest for faster, thinner and foldable mobile phones. Ultra-thin bare silicon ICs fabricated by thinning down standard ICs to thickness below 50 ?m are flexible and therefore they can be integrated on or in polymer foils to create flexible hybrid electronic (FHE) components that could be used to replace rigid standard surface mount device (SMD) components. The fabricated FHE components referred as chip foil packages (CFPs) in this work are ideal candidates for FHE system integration owing to their ability to deliver high performance at low power consumption while being mechanically flexible. However, very limited information is available in the literature regarding the reliability of CFPs under static and dynamic bending. The lack of such vital information is a major obstacle impeding their commercialization. With the aim of addressing this issue, this thesis investigates the static and dynamic bending reliability of CFPs. In this scope, the static bending reliability of CFPs has been investigated in this thesis using flexural bending tests by measuring their fracture strength. Then, Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations have been implemented to calculate the fracture stress of ultra-thin flexible silicon chips where analytical formulas may not be applied. After calculating the fracture stress from FEM simulations, the enhancement in robustness of ultra-thin chips (UTCs) against external load has also been proved and quantified with further experimental investigations. Besides, FEM simulations have also been used to analyse the effect of Youngs Modulus of embedding materials on the robustness of the embedded UTCs. Furthermore, embedding the UTCs in polymer layers has also been experimentally proven to be an effective solution to reduce the influence of thinning and dicing induced damages on the robustness of the embedded UTCs. Traditional interconnection techniques such as wire bonding may not be implemented to interconnect ultra-thin silicon ICs owing to the high mechanical forces involved in the processes that would crack the chips. Therefore, two novel interconnection methods namely (i) flip-chip bonding with Anisotropic Conductive Adhesive (ACA) and (ii) face-up direct metal interconnection have been implemented in this thesis to interconnect ultra-thin silicon ICs to the corresponding interposer patterns on foil substrates. The CFP samples thus fabricated were then used for the dynamic bending reliability investigations. A custom-built test equipment was developed to facilitate the dynamic bending reliability investigations of CFPs. Experimental investigations revealed that the failure of CFPs under dynamic bending was caused mainly by the cracking of the redistribution layer (RDL) interconnecting the chip and the foil. Furthermore, it has also been shown that the CFPs are more vulnerable to repeated compressive bending than to repeated tensile bending. Then, the influence of dimensional factors such as the thickness of the chip as well as the RDL on the dynamic bending reliability of CFPs have also been studied. Upon identifying the plausible cause behind the cracking of the RDL leading to the failure of the CFPs, two methods to improve the dynamic bending reliability of the RDL have been suggested and demonstrated with experimental investigations. The experimental investigations presented in this thesis adds some essential information to the state-of-the-art concerning the static and the dynamic bending reliability of UTCs integrated in polymer foils that are not yet available in the literature and aids to establish in-depth knowledge of mechanical reliability of the components required for manufacturing future FHE systems. The strategies devised to enhance the robustness of UTCs and CFPs could serve as guidelines for fabricating reliable FHE components and systems.
Dresden, TU, Diss., 2020