We examine some basic attributes of, and challenges in, modeling of the mechanical behavior of materials and structures in microelectronics and photonics (mainly fiber optic). The emphasis is on the role that methods and approaches of Structural Analysis should play (and, in effect, have played) in the design, manufacturing, testing and operation of micro- and opto-electronics assemblies, packages and systems. The objectives, merits and shortcomings of Structural Analysis (analytical modeling) are addressed, as well as the interaction between the analytical (“mathematical”) and numerical (mostly, FEA) modeling. We discuss also the interaction of the theoretical and experimental approaches, which should complement each other, when there is a need to design, build and operate a viable and reliable micro- or opto-electronic system. The review is based primarily on author’s work carried out during his tenure with Ball Laboratories, Physical Sciences and Engineering Research Division, and is a revised, updated and expanded version of an invited lecture presented several years ago at the RPI. It is carried out in connection with the author’s 2004 ASME award (Worcester Warner Reed Medal) “for outstanding contributions to the permanent literature of engineering through a series of papers in Mechanical, Microelectronic, and Optoelectronic Engineering, which established a new discipline known as the Structural Analysis of Microelectronic and Photonic Systems”.

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