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Effects of Under-Fill Curing on Flip-Chip Substrate Warpage
Keywords: warpage, under-fill, stress
The formulation of flip-chip under-fill adhesives has become more critical to avoid stress-induced cracking at the solder ball interfaces farthest from the center of the die (neutral point) and of the low-k dielectric layers on the die surface. Single die packages, multiple die packages, and thin core-less substrates have now become so warped as to make the ball attach and board attach processes difficult. Recommended under-fill supplier cure profiles are generally accepted without much modification. This work compares the stress-induced substrate warpage developed in flip-chip assemblies using seven different under-fills from three different suppliers. Both low and high Tg materials from each supplier are included. Standard isothermal convection oven cures and variable frequency microwave (VFM) cures were compared with programmed multi-step cure profiles to determine the optimum conditions for lowest die stress and substrate warpage. Due to the complex nature of modern under-fill mixtures and the significant differences in the heating mechanisms, the thermo-mechanical properties of the cured resins are not easily interpreted with respect to cause and effect, however some of the results are surprising. The differences in warpage between “full cure” and “cure to Tg” profiles for both heating methods are demonstrated and discussed with respect to potential adhesive network structures from model studies and actual thermal data. Recommendations are made for dispense temperatures, ramp rates, soak temperatures, and extended curing. These effects are important when assemblies face additional heat processing such as subsequent solder reflow.
Robert L. Hubbard, Director, Technology Development
Lambda Technologies Inc.
Morrisville, NC

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