The reliability of microelectronic components is profoundly influenced by the interfacial fracture resistance (adhesion) and resistance to progressive debonding of interfaces. In this study we examine the interfacial fracture properties of representative polymer interfaces commonly found in microelectronic applications. Specifically, interface fracture mechanics techniques are described to characterize adhesion and progressive debonding behavior of a polymer/metal interface under cyclic fatigue loading. Cyclic fatigue debond-growth rates were measured from ∼10−10 to 10−6 m/cycle and found to display a power-law dependence on the applied strain energy release rate range, ΔG. Fracture toughness test results show that the interfaces typically exhibit resistance-curve behavior, with a plateau interface fracture resistance, Gss, strongly dependent on the interface morphology and the thickness of the polymer layer. The effect of a chemical adhesion promoter on the fracture energy of a polymer/silicon interface was also characterized. Micromechanisms controlling interfacial adhesion and progressive debonding are discussed in terms of the prevailing deformation mechanisms and related to interface structure and morphology.

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