Several electronics packaging schemes involve polymer/inorganic interfaces, including: dual-in-line packages, tape automated bonding and multilayer interconnects. Typically, the thermal expansion coefficients are disparate, so these interfaces often cause high stress. Therefore, a phenomenological model describing transient stresses in spin-coated polyimide films was developed. The model is based on linear viscoelastic theory, and it accounts for shrinkage caused by solvent evaporation and imidization, viscoelastic relaxation, and thermal expansion mismatch. Strains have been defined from three mechanisms: thermal expansion mismatch, chemical curing, and solvent evaporation. Stress is, then, calculated by using the Classical Maxwell Model with one element. The concept of free volume is used throughout the model to estimate viscosity, modulus, and other quantities related to calculating strains. Model predictions for stress as a function of temperature during film cure and thermal cycling are fit with experimental data obtained from a bending beam apparatus.
Stress has been estimated by using the thin film approximation of the Timoshenko bilayer stress equation. Experimental data agree well with wafer bowing stress measurements. Although the technique does not yet take into account changing polyimide thickness during curing, the results still show qualitative curing dynamics. This preliminary study revealed good agreement between predicted and observed effects of material properties on stresses developed during cure and thermal cycling. Specificially, an unexpected high in-cure stress was observed for a standard low CTE polyimide. High stresses during curing can be as detrimental to an electronics device as high stress during device operation, so this technique may be useful when screening polyimides and/or prescribing curing schedules. Future work will improve the predictive capability of the model.