Damage Mechanics of Nanoelectronics Packaging Solder Joints
Cemalettin Basaran Principal Investigator
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Abstract 0508854<br/><br/>There is an insatiable demand for smaller, faster and more powerful electronic devices. Miniaturization of electronic devices down to nano-scale brings new engineering challenges. In the next generation nanoelectronics, electrical current densities will be significantly higher than what is in today's microelectronics. At high electrical current densities, atoms move with the electrons in the same direction, resulting in mass migration of atoms from the cathode side to the anode side. Eventually, a void is left behind in the cathode side, and mass accumulation occurs in the anode side. This phenomenon is known as electromigration. In addition, because of Joule heating, nanoscale electronic devices experience significant thermal gradients across solder joints, which can be in the order of 1000 C /cm or more. In the presence of such a large thermal gradient, atoms move from the hot to the cold side, resulting in mass accumulating on one side of the solder joint and voids created on the other side. This phenomenon is known as thermomigration. Electromigration and thermomigration phenomena are significant roadblocks to further miniaturization of electronics. Without understanding and modeling these failure mechanisms, further miniaturization in electronics may not be possible. <br/><br/>Modeling degradation behavior of materials under high electrical current density and under high temperature gradient is the primary topic of this research project. The investigator and his colleagues are developing computational damage mechanics computer simulation models and tools for nanoelectronics packaging using molecular simulations methods, principles of thermodynamics, damage mechanics and theory of plasticity. Using these computational tools, engineers in the electronics industry can design nanoelectronics packaging that can withstand high current densities and high temperature gradients. Certain material properties, cooling strategies, geometric layout of the electronic package make some materials resistant to electromigration and thermomigration damage. A practicing engineer will be able to use these computational tools to design such a system. Nanoelectronics technology expertise is very important for the competitiveness of US electronics and IT industries in the world markets. We have to develop this expertise and the technology before competing groups in other nations.