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New Uses of Excimer Laser Technology in the Packaging Industry
Keywords: excimer laser, Laser lift off, Redistribution layer structuring
Advanced packaging utilizes a variety of laser-based processes ranging from CO2 over pulsed UV laser all the way to short-pulsed lasers. Although Excimer lasers have been around for many decades, they have only recently been discovered by the advanced packaging industry as a tool option for some unsolved packaging challenges. As power levels, maintenance and cost of ownership have all improved by orders of magnitude over the last decade, Excimer lasers are offering new paths for laser-lift-off, laser structuring of redistribution layers and drilling of glass interposers. The device packaging industry is able to leverage advances that were pushed hard by the flat-panel display industry. We demonstrate how recent advances in power levels as well as beam shaping enable laser-lift off (LLO) to create interposers for the next generation packaging demands. Panel size processing is no longer a challenge for today’s power levels and beam delivery methods. Similarly advances in laser technology have made it feasible to structure redistribution layers at economic throughput. In comparison to established photolithography methods, direct laser ablation offers the ability to structure almost any material. The UV wavelength is able to ablate materials without thermal impact on the surrounding areas. In addition, advanced packaging houses are no longer restricted to using photo-sensitive materials when designing redistribution layers. The direct laser-ablation widens the design space and allows packaging engineers to optimize for performance instead of material processing properties. The same method also allows to structure metal seed layers. Due to the short UV wavelength generated with Excimer lasers, these lasers are ideally suited for drilling holes into glass for interposers. The Excimer’s parallel processing of holes can allow drilling of 1000s of holes per second. Their short wavelength guarantees that the thermal impact is minimized and in contrast to some other methods etching with toxic acids is eliminated.
Dirk Mueller, Director of Marketing
Coherent Inc.
Santa Clara, CA

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