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Formulation of Percolating Thermal Underfill by Sequential Convective Gap Filling
Keywords: thermal underfill, percolation, particle stacking
In 3D chip stacks, heat dissipation through wiring layers and the bonding interface contributes to the total temperature gradient. The effective thermal impedance of micro solder-ball arrays filled with a poorly-conducting silica underfill can be as high as 30 K*mm2/W, three times the value of a thermal grease interface. Efforts to improve the underfill conductivity to 5 W/(m*K) are underway, which would translate into in a significant interface-resistance reduction. To achieve thermal conductivities >1 W/(m*K), alumina particles were introduced in capillary underfills at particle loadings above the percolation threshold, but at these loading levels the high viscosity of the resulting underfill no longer permits capillary filling. We propose a novel sequential gap-filling method. Particles are suspended in a carrier fluid at a low concentration (0.1 vol%). Using forced convection, the suspension is injected into the cavity formed between the IC dies by the C4 array. A filter element at the cavity outlet triggers particle accumulation in the cavity. The particles form a percolation network with an effective thermal conductivity of >1 W/(m*K). Next an evaporation step removes the carrier fluid, and the exposed pores between the particles are refilled with a particle-free adhesive using capillary forces. Finally, the matrix is cured at 65°C. 10x10 mm2 standard and micro-C4 cavities (>30 µm) can be completely filled in 2 min at 0.2 bar, resulting in a homogeneous volumetric fill of 36%. Percolation was identified by SEM inspection. For the micro-C4 arrays filler particles of < 10 µm were used. Uniform particle filling is precluded because of the longer filling time due to the small pore sizes. Particle trapping sites are introduced to form local stacks that provide an additional drainage network to guarantee acceptable filling times. Effective thermal-conductivity values of the percolating thermal underfill method proposed here are reported.
T. Brunschwiler,
IBM Research GmbH
Rüschlikon ZH 8803,

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