Microstructural evolution of gold–aluminum wire-bonds
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The purpose of this study is to understand the morphological changes that occur during annealing of Al–Au wire-bonds, by analyzing the interface region of annealed model wire-bonded samples between 5N (99.999%) Au wires and Al pads. Due to the small length scale of the intermetallic region at the interface of the bond, the analysis was done using scanning/transmission electron microscopy combined with energy dispersive spectroscopy. Samples were prepared using a dual-beam focused ion beam system. Microstructural characterization showed that during annealing, a Au-rich intermetallic region was formed under the bond and at the periphery of the bond. Two types of failures occurred during annealing: crack formation at the bond periphery due to an increase in volume during intermetallic growth and the formation of stresses; and oxidation of the AlAu4 phase adjacent to the Au ball, which resulted in the formation of continuous cracks between the Au ball and the intermetallic region. The characteristic void-line found inside the intermetallic region played no part in failure that occurred during exposure to elevated temperatures.
The authors thank the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion for use of the FIB, and I. Popov for assistance with use of the TEM.
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