Decapsulation is one of the very powerful technique in failure analysis process. During this process, die and first level interconnects are exposed by dissolving molding compound around them using variety of methods. Typically decapsulation formulation uses red fuming nitric acid at elevated temperatures. This technique work for traditional Gold wire bonds, but does not work for its new alternative Copper. Gold, being inert metal does not react with acid. Copper on the other hand; tends to react with fuming nitric acid, and dissolves rapidly into acid. It is important to develop acid chemistry that can be successfully used to perform decapsulation of Cu-Al incorporated packages for different EMC’s.

In this paper, decap process based on combination of red fuming nitric acid and concentrated sulfuric acid at elevated temperatures is presented. Reduction in wire diameter was monitored for all devices. For some devices decap process was evaluated based on comparison of WB shear strength of decaped part with unmolded part. SEM was used extensively to track down degradation of copper wires. These tests were performed on packages with different EMC’s, wire diameters, pad thickness and some active dies.

Statistical principal components regression model has been developed correlating the decapsulation process parameters with the post decap wire diameter reduction. Principal component regression in conjunction with stepwise regression has been used to identify the influential variables, and to remove the multicollinearity between the predictor variables. Principal component analysis which combines two correlated variables into a single factor is a widely used image processing technique for pattern recognition and image compression. The post molded packages have then used to assess the effect of various decapsulation treatments.

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