Because of rapid advances in semiconductor technology, polymer dielectrics are finding widespread use in high-density packaging to improve performance and processability. Notable among these materials are polyimides, benzocyclobutene resins, and fluoropolymer containing composites.
Polyimides have been used extensively for chip passivation and first-level packaging. Benzocyclobutenes, processed as conventional thermosets, are being investigated as thin film dielectric for use in multichip modules. A silicon containing derivative can be used as a plasma etch stop. Polytetrafluoroethylene is used either as matrix or reinforcement in circuit boards to produce a low dielectric constant composite.
Knowledge of materials properties is crucial to ensure the reliability and function of products incorporating these polymers. In this article, a few selected characterization techniques for the determination of important materials properties such as solvent diffusion, plasma etch rate, and thermomechanical characteristics will be discussed.