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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Using synchrotron radiation microtomography to investigate multi-scale three-dimensional microelectronic packages

  • Author(s): Carlton, HD
  • Elmer, JW
  • Li, Y
  • Pacheco, M
  • Goyal, D
  • Parkinson, DY
  • Macdowell, AA
  • et al.

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© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments. Synchrotron radiation micro-tomography (SRµT) is a non-destructive three-dimensional (3D) imaging technique that offers high flux for fast data acquisition times with high spatial resolution. In the electronics industry there is serious interest in performing failure analysis on 3D microelectronic packages, many which contain multiple levels of high-density interconnections. Often in tomography there is a trade-off between image resolution and the volume of a sample that can be imaged. This inverse relationship limits the usefulness of conventional computed tomography (CT) systems since a microelectronic package is often large in cross sectional area 100-3,600 mm2, but has important features on the micron scale. The micro-tomography beamline at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), in Berkeley, CA USA, has a setup which is adaptable and can be tailored to a sample's properties, i.e., density, thickness, etc., with a maximum allowable cross-section of 36 x 36 mm. This setup also has the option of being either monochromatic in the energy range ~7-43 keV or operating with maximum flux in white light mode using a polychromatic beam. Presented here are details of the experimental steps taken to image an entire 16 x 16 mm system within a package, in order to obtain 3D images of the system with a spatial resolution of 8.7 µm all within a scan time of less than 3 min. Also shown are results from packages scanned in different orientations and a sectioned package for higher resolution imaging. In contrast a conventional CT system would take hours to record data with potentially poorer resolution. Indeed, the ratio of field-of-view to throughput time is much higher when using the synchrotron radiation tomography setup. The description below of the experimental setup can be implemented and adapted for use with many other multi-materials.

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