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Fatigue crack propagation along polymer-metal interfaces in microelectronic packages

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3 Author(s)
J. Guzek ; Intel Corp., Chandler, AZ, USA ; H. Azimi ; S. Suresh

In this study, a fracture mechanics-based technique was used for characterizing fatigue crack propagation (FCP) at polymer-metal interfaces. Sandwich double-cantilever beam (DCB) specimens were fabricated using nickel and copper-coated copper substrates bonded with a thin layer of silica-filled polymer encapsulant. Under cyclic loading, crack propagation was found to occur at the polymer-metal interface. The interfacial failure mode was verified by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of the fatigue fracture surfaces. The crack growth rate was found to have a power-law dependence on the strain energy release rate range, and exhibited a crack growth threshold, much like the fatigue crack growth threshold stress intensity factor range for monolithic bulk metals, polymers, and ceramics. Interfacial FCP data for three candidate encapsulants predicted cracking resistances that were well correlated with package-level reliability tests. By varying the surface roughness of the copper and nickel plating, it was shown that interfacial FCP resistance increased with increasing roughness. The observed increases in FCP resistance were attributed to a reduction in the effective driving force for fatigue fracture along the rougher interfaces, and could be accounted for by a crack-deflection model

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology: Part A  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 4 )