Effects of Ultrasound in Microelectronic Ultrasonic Wire Bonding
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Ultrasonic wire bonding is the most utilized technique in forming electrical interconnections in microelectronics. However, there is a lacking in the fundamental understanding of the process. In order for there to be improvements in the process a better understanding of the process is required. The mechanism of the bond formation in ultrasonic wire bonding is not known. Although there have been theories proposed, inconsistencies have been shown to exist in them. One of the main inconsistencies is the contribution of ultrasound to the bonding process. A series of experiments to investigate the mechanism of bond formation are performed on a semi automatic wire bonder at room temperature. 25 µm diameter Au wire is ball bonded and also 25 µm diameter Al wire is wedge-wedge bonded onto polished Cu sheets of thickness 2 mm. It is found that a modified microslip theory can describe the evolution of bonding. With increasing ultrasonic power the bond contact transitions from microslip into gross sliding. The reciprocating tangential relative motion at the bond interface results in wear of surface contaminants which leads to clean metal/metal contact and bonding. The effect of superimposed ultrasound during deformation on the residual hardness of a bonded ball is systematically studied for the first time. An innovative bonding procedure with in-situ ball deformation and hardness measurement is developed using an ESEC WB3100 automatic ball bonder. 50 µm diameter Au wire is bonded at various ultrasound levels onto Au metallized PCB substrate at room temperature. It is found that sufficient ultrasound which is applied during the deformation leads to a bonded ball which is softer than a ball with a similar amount of deformation without ultrasound. No hardening of the 100 µm diameter Au ball is observed even with the maximum ultrasonic power capable of the equipment of 900 mW. In summary, the fundamental effect of ultrasound in the wire bonding process is the reciprocating tangential displacement at the bond interface resulting in contaminant dispersal and bonding. A second effect of ultrasound is the softening of the bonded material when compared to a similarly non-ultrasound deformed ball.