Thermo-mechanical reliability of 3-D interconnects containing through-silicon-vias (TSVs)



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This dissertation focuses on one of the most active research areas in the microelectronics industry: Thermo-mechanical reliability of 3-D interconnects containing through-silicon-vias (TSVs). This study constitutes two parts: 1. Thermal stress measurement on TSVs; 2. Analyses on thermo-mechanical reliability of TSVs. In the first part, a metrology for stress measurement of through-silicon-via (TSV) structures was developed using a bending beam technique. The bending curvature induced by the thermal expansion of a periodic array of Cu TSVs was measured during thermal cycles. The stress components in TSV structures were deduced combining the curvature measurement with a finite-element-analysis (FEA). Temperature-dependent thermal stresses in Cu TSVs and in Si matrix were derived. In the second part, the reliability issues induced by the thermal stresses of TSVs were analyzed from several aspects, including the carrier mobility change in transistors, the interfacial delamination of TSVs, and thermal stress interactions between TSVs. Among them, the mobility change in transistors was found to be sensitive to the normal stresses near the Si wafer surface. The surface area of a high mobility change was defined as the keep-out zone (KOZ) for transistors. FEA simulations were carried out to calculate the area of KOZ surrounding TSVs. The area of KOZ was found to be mainly determined by the channel direction of the transistor as a result of anisotropic piezoresistivity effects. FEA simulations also showed that the KOZ can be controlled by TSV geometry, material selection, etc. Interfacial delamination of TSVs was found to be mainly driven by a shear stress concentration at the TSV/Si interface. Crack driving force for TSV delamination was calculated using FEA simulations, which take into account the magnitude of thermal load, TSV geometry, TSV materials, etc. The results provided a design guideline to improve the TSV delamination problem. In the last, the stress interaction among TSV arrays was examined using a bi-TSV model. In the Cartesian coordinate system, thermal stresses can be intensified or suppressed between TSVs, depending on how TSVs are located. Further analyses suggested that the area of KOZ and the TSV-induced Si cracking can both be improved by optimizing the arrangement of the TSV arrays.