Fine-pitch Cu-snag die-to-die and die-to-interposer interconnections using advanced slid bonding
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Multi-chip integration with emerging technologies such as a 3D IC stack or 2.5D interposer is primarily enabled by the off-chip interconnections. The I/O density, speed and bandwidth requirements for emerging mobile and high-performance systems are projected to drive the interconnection pitch to less than 20 microns by 2015. A new class of low-temperature, low-pressure, high-throughput, cost-effective and maufacturable technologies are needed to enable such fine-pitch interconnections. A range of interconnection technologies are being pursued to achieve these fine-pitch interconnections, most notably direct Cu-Cu interconnections and copper pillars with solder caps. Direct Cu-Cu bonding has been a target in the semiconductor industry due to the high electrical and thermal conductivity of copper, its high current-carrying capability and compatibility with CMOS BEOL processes. However, stringent coplanarity requirements and high temperature and high pressure bonding needed for assembly have been the major barriers for this technology. Copper-solder interconnection technology has therefore become the main workhouse for off-chip interconnections, and has recently been demonstrated at pitches as low as 40 microns. However, the current interconnection approaches using copper-solder structures are not scalable to finer feature sizes due to electromigration, and reliability issues arising with decreased solder content. Solid Liquid Inter-Diffusion (SLID) bonding is a promising solution to achieve ultra-fine-pitch and ultra-short interconnections with a copper-solder system, as it relies on the conversion of the entire solder volume into thermally-stable and highly electromigration-resistant intermetallics with no residual solder. Such a complete conversion of solders to stable intermetallics, however, relies on a long assembly time or a subsequent post-annealing process. To achieve pitches lower than 30 micron pitch, this research aims to study two ultra-short copper-solder interconnection approaches: (i) copper pillar and solder cap technology, and (ii) a novel technology which will enable interconnections with improved electrical performance by fast and complete conversion of solders to stable intermetallics (IMCs) using Solid Liquid Diffusion (SLID) bonding approach. SLID bonding, being a liquid state diffusion process, combined with a novel, alternate layered copper-solder bump structure, leads to higher diffusion rates and a much faster conversion of solder to IMCs. Moreover this assembly bonding is done at a much lower temperature and pressure as compared to that used for Cu-Cu interconnections. FEM was used to study the effect of various assembly and bump-design characteristics on the post-assembly stress distribution in the ultra-short copper-solder joints, and design guidelines were evolved based on these results. Test vehicles, based on these guidelines, were designed and fabricated at 50 and 100 micron pitch for experimental analysis. The bumping process was optimized, and the effect of current density on the solder composition, bump-height non-uniformity and surface morphology of the deposited solder were studied. Ultra-short interconnections formed using the copper pillar and solder cap technology were characterized. A novel multi-layered copper-solder stack was designed based on diffusion modeling to optimize the bump stack configuration for high-throughput conversion to stable Cu3Sn intermetallic. Following this modeling, a novel bumping process with alternating copper and tin plating layers to predesigned thicknesses was then developed to fabricate the interconnection structure. Alternate layers of copper and tin were electroplated on a blanket wafer, as a first demonstration of this stack-technology. Dies with copper-solder test structures were bonded using SLID bonding to validate the formation of stable intermetallics.