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Adhesive wafer bonding with a patterned polymer layer is increasingly attracting attention as cheap and simple 0-level packaging technology for microstructures, because the patterned polymer both fulfills the bonding function and determines the volumes between the two wafers housing the devices to be packaged. To be able to pattern a polymer, it has to be cross-linked to a certain degree which makes the material rigid and less adhesive for the bonding afterward. In this paper, a simple method is presented which combines the advantages of a patterned adhesive layer with the advantages of a liquid polymer phase before the bonding. The pattern in the adhesive layer is "inked" with viscous polymer by pressing the substrate toward an auxiliary wafer with a thin liquid polymer layer. Then, the substrate with the inked pattern is finally bonded to the top wafer. Benzocyclobuene (BCB) was used both for the patterned structures and as the "ink". Tensile bond strength tests were carried out on patterned adhesive bonded samples fabricated with and without this contact printing method. The bonding yield is significantly improved with the contact printing method, the fabrication procedure is more robust and the test results show that the bond strength is at least 2 times higher. An investigation of the samples' failure mechanisms revealed that the bond strength even exceeds the adhesion forces of the BCB to the substrate. Furthermore, the BCB contact printing method was successfully applied for 0-level glass-lid packaging done by full-wafer bonding with a patterned adhesive layer. Here, the encapsulating lids are separated after the bonding by dicing the top wafer independently of the bottom wafer.
Date of Publication: April 2005