Requirements for the mechanical properties of the encapsulation material in a flip-chip design to prevent the solder and the encapsulation material itself from failure are presented on the basis of the developed analytical stress models, enabling one to predict the stresses caused by the expansion (contraction) mismatch of these materials. We evaluate and discuss the mechanical behavior of encapsulants for two encapsulation technologies: 1) encapsulant fills in the entire underchip space (silicone gels, epoxies); 2) encapsulant conformably coats the underchip surfaces (polyxylylene, polyimide). The calculations are carried out for an Advanced VLSI Package Design. The calculated data have indicated that low modulus silicone gel results in the lowest stresses. Polyxylylene should be considered as the second preference. Polyimide is also acceptable. Epoxies, however, could result in significant stresses in solder joints and therefore are less attractive. The final selection of the most feasible encapsulant should be done, of course, with consideration of all the electrical, chemical, and technological requirements.

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