Thermal residual stresses developed at the time of semiconductor molding may cause serious problems both in their structural and functional performance; therefore, residual stress assessment in microelectronic devices is a mandatory evaluation step. Fluorescence piezo-spectroscopy was applied to evaluate residual stresses with a microscopic resolution inside a semiconductor encapsulant. In order to obtain reliable stress information, a low fraction of alumina powder, as a fluorescent sensor, was embedded into the silica/epoxy molding compound. Residual stress was transferred from the molding compound to the alumina phase and could be monitored by recording the shift of the sharp and intense fluorescence spectrum of Cr<sup>3+</sup> in alumina. Two-dimensional residual-stress maps, recorded near the edge of the silicon chip, revealed a strong stress concentration in the molding compound. Experimental results were compared with calculations obtained by the linear finite element method. Such a comparison showed that the experimental stress values were systematically larger than the corresponding calculated values due to local delamination at the chip edge.
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