Fracture mechanics is an essential field of study towards the improvement and development of electronic packages. In combination with modern simulation method such as finite element analysis (FEA), fracture mechanics is widely used and appreciated in the industry. Many different approaches have been developed to calculate the fracture parameters for interfaces or bulk material under given loads in order to compare them against previously measured failure criteria. While many publications are available that have described the different simulation approaches in detail or compare the different fracture test methods, there have been few comparisons of these simulation approaches with respect to their use in research and development of electronic packages.

The objective of this work is to compare different delamination modeling methodologies and their applications for electronic packaging. The work highlights the differences in theory behind each approach as well as the differences in their practical use to predict delamination or asses a fracture risk in electronic packages. The intention was to use commercially available FE-codes in conjunction with a well-defined set of adhesion strength tests. During this work, energy based fracture criteria were applied by means of the virtual crack closure technique (VCCT), the J-integral and the cohesive zone material model (CZM) methods. These methodologies are most commonly used but can differ significantly from each other as will be shown in this comparison. To demonstrate the use of these techniques, copper lead frame to epoxy mold compound (EMC) delamination was assessed, representing a very common packaging failure mode. Critical energy release rates were measured on multiple Copper-EMC test specimens under varying load phase angles. ANSYS was used to build mechanical simulation models of a selected device. Existing post processing procedures were applied to assess delamination risk based on above mentioned techniques. The simulation study considers realistic monotonic loading conditions and results will also be compared to existing failure analysis images for demonstration and validation purpose. As an outcome, the paper will include a ranking of the approaches as well as a summary of advantages and disadvantages, based method and accuracy. An outlook on future developments such as fatigue or aging phenomena will finish the work.

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