Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Berfield, Thomas Austin
Deep reactive ion etch; Die separation; Fracture; Three point bending; Die strength; Notch
Dies (Metal-working); Microfabrication
In the electronic and microfabrication industry, die separation is one of the most critical steps in producing an undamaged, stand-alone micro-scale device. For silicon based devices, it is the predominant step governing resistance to die failure by mechanical fracture. Traditional separation methods include the use of dicing saws and/or backside grinding to dice-by-thinning. Excessive forces, vibrations, and surface contact involved with these methods can cause undesirable side-wall chipping and microcracking, which often translates to inoperable devices. Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) offers an alternative technique for die separation with less mechanical force. The DRIE process may be used to either introduce notches in one uniform step that allow for die separation via fracture in three-point bending, or to directly separate the dies by etching completely through the substrate. This work presents an analysis of the stress concentrations due to DRIE etched notches and the bending stress required to achieve die separation. The defect rate and die strength associated with DRIE-based die separated is compared with traditional saw methods for a variety of notch depths. Results indicate that the DRIE-based separation technique offers modest advantages over the traditional methods, but can also greatly reduce strength if the protective mask is over etched. It will also show that shallow trenches formed by a mechanical dicing saw resulted in stronger die than deeper trenches.
Porter, Daniel Allen, "Die separation strength for deep reactive ion etched wafers." (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1144.