ADVANCED PLASMA PROCESSING TECHNIQUES FOR IMPROVING DESCUM AND OTHER WLP PROCESS PERFORMANCEAuthor: Scott D. Szymanski
Company: March Plasma Systems
Date Published: 11/1/2006 Conference: IWLPC (Wafer-Level Packaging)
The WLP industry has found that a variety of commercially-available plasma treatments exist to address many of these challenges. Plasma processing can remove photo resist (PR) residue after development (a process commonly referred to as “descum” in the semiconductor industry), remove organic, metal or oxide contamination, generally clean the surface of the wafer before the next step in the process, roughen and activate the chemical bonds at the surface of the wafer in order to improve bondability, increase the wettability of the surface of the wafer, and increase the uniformity of liquid flow (such as liquid photo resist material) over the surface of the wafer.
Moreover, data show that plasma technology is a convergent technology, where both established and emerging WLP processes can be improved in existing plasma systems (by changing, for example, plasma chemistries, flow rates, process pressures, power settings, and chamber configuration, etc.), and without the high costs usually associated with traditional front-end equipment capital equipment.
Plasma processes can directly, and in some cases, dramatically improve the performance and reliability of the finished WLP package. This discussion will cover how plasma treatments can improve the performance of several common WLP processes, such as descum. In this way, plasma treatment is rapidly changing from an enhancing technology to an enabling one.
Key words: Wafer level packaging, plasma treatment, cleaning, descum.
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