Fabrication and Reliability Assessment of Embedded Passives in Organic Substrate

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Lee, Kang
Sitaraman, Suresh K.
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In a typical printed circuit board assembly, over 70 percent of the electronic components are passives such as resistors, inductors, and capacitors, and these passives could take up to 50 percent of the entire printed circuit board area. By embedding the passive components within the substrate instead of being mounted on the surface, the embedded passives could reduce the system real estate, eliminate the need for surface-mounted discrete components, eliminate lead based interconnects, enhance electrical performance and reliability, and potentially reduce the overall cost. Even with these advantages, embedded passive technology, especially for organic substrates, is at an early stage of development, and thus a comprehensive experimental and theoretical modeling study is needed to understand the fabrication and reliability of embedded passives before they can be widely used. This thesis aims to fabricate embedded passives in a multilayered organic substrate, perform extensive electrical and mechanical reliability tests, and develop physics-based models to predict the thermo-mechanical reliability of embedded capacitors. Embedded capacitors and resistors with different geometric shapes, planar dimensions, and thus different electrical characteristics have been fabricated on two different test vehicles. Capacitors are made with polymer/ceramic nanocomposite materials and have a capacitance in the range of 50 pF to 1.5 nF. Resistors are carbon ink based Polymer Thick Film (PTF) and NiCrAlSi and have a resistance in the range of 25 to 400 k. High frequency measurements have been done using Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) with 2 port signal-ground (S-G) probes. Accelerated thermal cycling (-55 to 125oC) and constant temperature and humidity tests (85oC/85RH) based on JEDEC and MIL standards have been performed. Furthermore, physics-based numerical models have been developed and validated using the experimental data. By focusing on the design and fabrication as well as the experimental and theoretical reliability assessments, this thesis aims to contribute to the overall development of embedded passive technology for Digital and Radio Frequency (RF) applications.
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