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Aug 12th, 2013
 
Excimer laser ablation for advanced packaging patterning
 
At the recent SUSS MicroTec technology forum at Semicon West 2013 Matt Souter of SUSS MicroTec gave a presentation on novel patterning solutions. i-Micronews thought it was worth…A Closer Look.
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At the recent SUSS MicroTec technology forum at Semicon Wet 2013 Matt Suter of SUSS gave a presentation on novel patterning solutions. i-Micronews thought it was worth…A Closer Look.

Ablation of surface layers of materials results in almost no heating or change to the underlying materials. It is a subtractive process.

                                                                                                          
 

Laser ablation is a subtractive process (Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

Many common packaging materials are ablatable.
=> Most organic materials
- Polymers (PI, BCB, PBO etc.) - via drilling/trenching
- Epoxy Mold Compounds (EMC - Nagase, Anjinomoto, Sumitomo) - via drilling/trenching
- Photoresist - pattern or strip resist

=> Selected inorganic materials                                                                                                       
- Dielectrics (SiNx - < 1µm thick with 248nm only) 
- Thin metals (Au, Cu, Ag, Al, Ni, etc…); <1µm thick on organic material 
- Conductive materials (ITO, CNT); <1µm thick on organic material

Laser can be operated similar to a UV photolithography stepper whether it would ablate rather than image. 

Mask based, multi site excimer laser ablation (Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

Excimer lasers can be used to remove or pattern metal seed layers over organic dielectrics. You can pattern down to about 4 um.

Excimer Laser easily patterns vias and/or trenches in organic dielectrics 

 RDL Trench and Via Etch in Various Polymer Dielectrics (Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

Compared to a typical photolithographic process laser direct etch can eliminate several of the manufacturing process steps:

 

Comparison of Standard Photo dielectric Process to Laser Process (Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

A debris cell is used to remove laser debris from the ablation site. Various post laser cleaning methods, such as both plasma and wet solutions are available based on material being ablated. 

(Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

Suter notes that excimer ablation is in the early adoption phase by companies interested in a number of application areas. 

Applications being examined by Excimer Ablation (Courtesy of SUSS MicroTec)

 

 
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