Imprint lithography and characterization of photosensitive polymers for advanced microelectronics packaging
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To enable fast and reliable processors, advances must be made in the interconnections on the printed circuit board and in the interconnections from the chip to the printed circuit board. Processing techniques have been demonstrated to fabricate a copper-clad encapsulated air dielectric layer to enable low loss off-chip electrical signal lines using sacrificial polymers and the three dimensional patterning capabilities of imprint lithography. The inclusion of an air gap can eliminate the dielectric loss allowing the signal to propagate over longer lengths. Additionally, the low dielectric constant of air lowers the loss contributions from the conductor and increases the signal propagation velocity reducing delay. The metal shielding could minimize the crosstalk noise and radiation losses that are significant at high frequencies. The three dimensional patterning capabilities of imprint lithography fabricated curved structures and rounded terminations which can reduce reflections at discontinuities. Furthermore, imprint lithography also created planarized surfaces which simplified the buildup process. Since imprint lithography, only uses temperature and pressure to make a pattern it is an inexpensive and simple process advancement. The metal-clad encapsulated air dielectric structures were fabricated in a comparable number of registration steps to traditional transmission lines. Implementation of all copper chip to substrate interconnects would provide high conductivity electrical connections, resistance to electromigration while avoiding formation of brittle intermetallics. High aspect ratio polymer molds for copper electroplating interconnects could enable improved integrated circuit electrical performance. The properties of a new aqueous base develop, negative-tone photosensitive polynorbornene polymer have been characterized to develop mechanically compliant all copper connections between the chip and printed circuit board. High aspect ratio features of 7:1 (height:width) were produced in 70 ìm thick films in a single coat with straight side-wall profiles and high fidelity. The polymer films studied had a contrast of 11.6 and a low absorption coefficient. To evaluate the polymer's suitability to microelectronics applications, epoxy cross-linking reactions were studied as a function of processing condition through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nano-indentation, and dielectric measurements. The fully cross-linked films had an elastic modulus of 2.9 GPa and hardness of 0.18 GPa which can improve the mechanical compliance of the copper interconnections. A photo-imprint lithography process was developed to improve the photo-patterning of the polynorbornene polymer for high aspect ratio hollow structures. A shallow photo-imprint stamp was developed to physically displace material in the polymer core. Since the imprint stamp displaces material in the area of the feature, the effective film thickness is reduced compared to the bulk film. The reduction in film height reduced the effects of scattering in the core and also facilitated transport of developer within the core. The photo-imprint lithography process resulted in high aspect ratio hollow core pillars that exceeded optical resolution capabilities for comparable feature sizes.