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Jul 19th, 2013
Brewer Science: Simpler bonding/debonding process needed
ZoneBond technology from Brewer Science to enable bonding and debonding process for 3D integration.
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ZoneBOND Process flow.
ZoneBOND Process flow.

In 3D integration, wafers are thinned, stacked and connected to one another with through silicon vias (TSVs). The process of wafer thinning and TSV formation typically involves the use of a wafer bonding/debonding technology, where the wafers are bonded onto a carrier substrate – either silicon or glass – processed, and then debonded. The bonding/debonding step can be tricky because the bond has to be strong enough to withstand relatively high temperature processes and polishing steps, but not so strong as to make debonding difficult. It’s also critical that minimal stress be introduced to the device wafer during the debonding step (which can involve sliding or peeling), and that no residue remain. Room temperature debonding is also desirable. 

A variety of techniques and materials have been developed to successfully achieve bonding/debonding, but Tony Flaim, chief technology officer of Brewer Science (Rolla, MO) says they are still too complicated. Brewer Science introduced the ZoneBOND technology in the 2008/2009 timeframe, and it has been implemented by tool suppliers such as EVG and SUSS. In an interview at The ConFab in June, Flaim said: “This is one of the industry’s first methods for separating the carrier from the bonded pair under low stress, low temperature conditions. It can be done at room temperature. We’ve had customers adopt that technology and are using it for some low volume production.”

High volume manufacturing of 3D integration with TSVs might not occur for another two years. To date, TSVs have been primarily used in limited applications such as image sensors where back-to-front contact is required. The first true stacked, 3D integrated device to go into production will likely be the Hybrid Memory Cube sometime next year.

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