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  • 1. Kapton Etch ProcessKapton Etch Process DevelopmentDevelopment 1986 to 19881986 to 1988 John GlenningJohn Glenning 7/20/20137/20/2013 © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 2. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development IBM decided to enter the flexible circuit market Flip-Chip Technology using thermal compression bonding to replace the C4 Chip Attach Technology © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 3. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development IBM decided to enter the flexible circuit market Flip-Chip Technology using thermal compression bonding to replace the C4 Chip Attach Technology PRODUCTS FAMILIES: Micro-electronic circuitry Computer hard drives High performance electric harnesses for the Department of Defense Automotive harnesses Aerospace Industrial applications (flexible heaters, printer heads,…) © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 4. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Kapton Kapton is a polyimide film developed by DuPont © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 5. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Kapton Kapton is a polyimide film developed by DuPont BENEFITS & STRENTHS: Very durable Flexible Robust to vibration Excellent electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical properties Can withstand extreme temperature © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 6. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process 1. Metalize the Kapton surface using sputtering © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 7. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process 1. Metalize the Kapton surface using sputtering 2. Pattern the electrical circuitry using photolithography, wet processing & plating on both the top and bottom surfaces of the Kapton © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 8. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process 1. Metalize the Kapton surface using sputtering 2. Pattern the electrical circuitry using photolithography, wet processing & plating on both the top and bottom surfaces of the Kapton 3. Pattern the Kapton using photolithography and wet processing © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 9. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process 1. Metalize the Kapton surface using sputtering 2. Pattern the electrical circuitry using photolithography, wet processing & plating on both the top and bottom surfaces of the Kapton 3. Pattern the Kapton using photolithography and wet processing 4. Attach the semiconductor chip using thermal compression bonding © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 10. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process 1. Metalize the Kapton surface using sputtering 2. Pattern the electrical circuitry using photolithography, wet processing & plating on both the top and bottom surfaces of the Kapton 3. Pattern the Kapton using photolithography and wet processing 4. Attach the semiconductor chip using thermal compression bonding 5. Encapsulate the system, if required © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 11. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process Development All manufacturing technologies existed in IBM except for Kapton etch and thermal compression bonding © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 12. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process Development All manufacturing technologies existed in IBM except for Kapton etch and thermal compression bonding Myself and another engineer were asked to join the development team a year before the rest of the team was formed. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 13. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Manufacturing Process Development All manufacturing technologies existed in IBM except for Kapton etch and thermal compression bonding Myself and another engineer were asked to join the development team a year before the rest of the team was formed. I was responsible for developing the entire process for etching Kapton: 1. Develop a chemistry than can etch Kapton 2. Identify a photoresist system that can withstand the Kapton etch process 3. Develop post processing rinsing, cleaning and drying operations © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 14. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Chemistry A literature searched identified two existing chemistries 1. Ethylenediamine: Highly carcinogenic 2. Hydrazine Hydrate: Rocket Fuel (very explosive) © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 15. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Chemistry A literature searched identified two existing chemistries 1. Ethylenediamine: Highly carcinogenic 2. Hydrazine Hydrate: Rocket Fuel (very explosive) Safety would not approve either chemistry unless it was demonstrated that no alternative chemistries existed © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 16. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Chemistry A literature searched identified two existing chemistries 1. Ethylenediamine: Highly carcinogenic 2. Hydrazine Hydrate: Rocket Fuel (very explosive) Safety would not approve either chemistry unless it was demonstrated that no alternative chemistries existed Worked with Corporate R & D and identified highly concentrated potassium or sodium hydroxide at elevated temperatures as potential chemistries. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 17. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Process Refinement Built a prototype line in a lab to build product at sizes larger then beakers Immersion processes with heaters and spargers © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 18. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Process Refinement Built a prototype line in a lab to build product at sizes larger then beakers Immersion processes with heaters and spargers Tested the process chemistries and temperature windows for etch rates based on projected volumes and equipment size Settled on 7M KOH at 95ºC © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 19. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Process Refinement Built a prototype line in a lab to build product at sizes larger then beakers Immersion processes with heaters and spargers Tested the process chemistries and temperature windows for etch rates based on projected volumes and equipment size Settled on 7M KOH at 95ºC Tested about 30 photoresist systems until we found one that completely withstood the etching chemistry. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 20. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Process Refinement Built a prototype line in a lab to build product at sizes larger then beakers Immersion processes with heaters and spargers Tested the process chemistries and temperature windows for etch rates based on projected volumes and equipment size Settled on 7M KOH at 95ºC Tested about 30 photoresist systems until we found one that completely withstood the etching chemistry. Developed a surface neutralization operation (HCl) and rinsing processes © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 21. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Building the Pilot Line The rest of the team was formed The final process would not be immersion. It would be spray. Spray processes give much better mass transfer than immersion. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 22. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Building the Pilot Line The rest of the team was formed The final process would not be immersion. It would be spray. Spray processes give much better mass transfer than immersion. Hydrochloric Acid neutralization step © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 23. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Building the Pilot Line The rest of the team was formed The final process would not be immersion. It would be spray. Spray processes give much better mass transfer than immersion. Hydrochloric Acid neutralization step Three counter-current cascading water rinses © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 24. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Building the Pilot Line The rest of the team was formed The final process would not be immersion. It would be spray. Spray processes give much better mass transfer than immersion. Hydrochloric Acid neutralization step Three counter-current cascading water rinses Hot air dry © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 25. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Building the Pilot Line The rest of the team was formed The final process would not be immersion. It would be spray. Spray processes give much better mass transfer than immersion. Hydrochloric Acid neutralization step Three counter-current cascading water rinses Hot air dry Write the equipment specifications, visit and identify vendors. Awarded build and installation contracts. Installed and debugged the process and the equipment . © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 26. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Initial development run: At 100x magnification, an unknown material was bridging circuits, which was unacceptable. Lab analysis determined the material to be partially etch Kapton which was redeposited during the etching process © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 27. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Initial development run: At 100x magnification, an unknown material was bridging circuits, which was unacceptable. Lab analysis determined the material to be partially etch Kapton which was redeposited during the etching process Developed a rinsing chemistry that completely removed this material (0.5 M potassium hydroxide at room temperature). © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 28. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Excessive “scalloping” of the Kapton was observed near the circuit lines. Product Manager determined this to be a defect and it need to be resolved. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 29. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Excessive “scalloping” of the Kapton was observed near the circuit lines. Product Manager determined this to be a defect and it need to be resolved. Root cause was determined to be a “tenting” of the laminated photoresist over the circuit lines. This created a channel near the circuit lines and acted as a capillary. The capillary effect drew etchant deep under the photoresist causing this over etch. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 30. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Excessive “scalloping” of the Kapton was observed near the circuit lines. Product Manager determined this to be a defect and it need to be resolved. Root cause was determined to be a “tenting” of the laminated photoresist over the circuit lines. This created a channel near the circuit lines and acted as a capillary. The capillary effect drew etchant deep under the photoresist causing this over etch. It was decided that we would presoak the Photoresist-Kapton System with water to fill the capillary. This solved the scalloping problem, but now we were over etching the material. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 31. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Excessive “scalloping” of the Kapton was observed near the circuit lines. Product Manager determined this to be a defect and it need to be resolved. Root cause was determined to be a “tenting” of the laminated photoresist over the circuit lines. This created a channel near the circuit lines and acted as a capillary. The capillary effect drew etchant deep under the photoresist causing this over etch. It was decided that we would presoak the Photoresist-Kapton System with water to fill the capillary. This solved the scalloping problem, but now we were over etching the material. It was determined this was caused by the water swelling the Kapton allowing for more repaid penetration of the etchant. Kapton is very hydrophilic. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 32. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Initial Product Builds Excessive “scalloping” of the Kapton was observed near the circuit lines. Product Manager determined this to be a defect and it need to be resolved. Root cause was determined to be a “tenting” of the laminated photoresist over the circuit lines. This created a channel near the circuit lines and acted as a capillary. The capillary effect drew etchant deep under the photoresist causing this over etch. It was decided that we would presoak the Photoresist-Kapton System with water to fill the capillary. This solved the scalloping problem, but now we were over etching the material. It was determined this was caused by the water swelling the Kapton allowing for more repaid penetration of the etchant. Kapton is very hydrophilic. Presoaking the Kapton with water tripled the etch rate. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 33. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In a previous project, I was developing the etching for polyamic acid, which is the precursor of polymide. Polyamic acid is etched using 1 M KOH and 40ºC. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 34. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In a previous project, I was developing the etching for polyamic acid, which is the precursor of polymide. Polyamic acid is etched using 1 M KOH and 40ºC. Polymaic acid becomes polyimide by applying heat and the process is know as imidization. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 35. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In a previous project, I was developing the etching for polyamic acid, which is the precursor of polymide. Polyamic acid is etched using 1 M KOH and 40ºC. Polymaic acid becomes polyimide by applying heat and the process is know as imidization. Spraying potassium hydroxide created potassium carbonate. Carbon dioxide is absorbed during the spraying process and reacts with the potassium hydroxide to create potassium carbonate. 2 KOH + CO2 → K2CO3 + H20 © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 36. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In a previous project, I was developing the etching for polyamic acid, which is the precursor of polymide. Polyamic acid is etched using 1 M KOH and 40ºC. Polymaic acid becomes polyimide by applying heat and the process is know as imidization. Spraying potassium hydroxide created potassium carbonate. Carbon dioxide is absorbed during the spraying process and reacts with the potassium hydroxide to create potassium carbonate. 2 KOH + CO2 → K2CO3 + H20 If the potassium carbonate concentration gets too high, the etching reaction will shut down. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 37. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In the pilot line, I tested the entire range of potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate concentrations and etchant temperature to determine the effect on the etching of Kapton © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 38. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In the pilot line, I tested the entire range of potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate concentrations and etchant temperature to determine the effect on the etching of Kapton: 1. The potassium hydroxide concentration determine the etch rate through the Kapton Film © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 39. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In the pilot line, I tested the entire range of potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate concentrations and etchant temperature to determine the effect on the etching of Kapton: 1. The potassium hydroxide concentration determine the etch rate through the Kapton Film 2. The potassium carbonate concentration determine the etch undercut of the Kapton Film © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 40. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Understanding the Polyamic Acid Etching Process In the pilot line, I tested the entire range of potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate concentrations and etchant temperature to determine the effect on the etching of Kapton: 1. The potassium hydroxide concentration determine the etch rate through the Kapton Film 2. The potassium carbonate concentration determine the etch undercut of the Kapton Film This was documented by a series of cross-section and this effect was reproducible. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 41. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 42. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. It was determined that they would go ahead with the Qualification because of the schedule. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 43. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. It was determined that they would go ahead with the Qualification because of the schedule. Product failed qualification due to Corrosion-Migration. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 44. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. It was determined that they would go ahead with the Qualification because of the schedule. Product failed qualification due to Corrosion-Migration. I presented my findings to Senior Management. It was agreed to rerun Product Qualification with my alternative chemistry (7M KOH, 3M K2CO3 at 95ºC). © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 45. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. It was determined that they would go ahead with the Qualification because of the schedule. Product failed qualification due to Corrosion-Migration. I presented my findings to Senior Management. It was agreed to rerun Product Qualification with my alternative chemistry (7M KOH, 3M K2CO3 at 95ºC). This time, they passed qualification. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 46. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Permanent Etch Mask Product Qualification When planning for this product qualification, I expressed a concern to management that we would fail Reliability Testing because of ionic entrapment in the area between the permanent etch mask and the edge of the Kapton. It was determined that they would go ahead with the Qualification because of the schedule. Product failed qualification due to Corrosion-Migration. I presented my findings to Senior Management. It was agreed to rerun Product Qualification with my alternative chemistry (7M KOH, 3M K2CO3 at 95ºC). This time, they passed qualification. This became the Plan-of Record Process for Permanent Etch Masks © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 47. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 48. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 49. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector I was jointly responsible for the process scale-up © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 50. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector I was jointly responsible for the process scale-up IBM Qualifies Manufacturing processes using a 4 Level Stage Gate Process © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 51. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector I was jointly responsible for the process scale-up IBM Qualifies Manufacturing processes using a 4 Level Stage Gate Process Development leads the first two Gates with Manufacturing in support © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 52. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector I was jointly responsible for the process scale-up IBM Qualifies Manufacturing processes using a 4 Level Stage Gate Process Development leads the first two Gates with Manufacturing in support Manufacturing leads the second two Gates with Development in support © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 53. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Technology Transfer I was a member of the Development-Manufacturing Team that transferred the process to manufacturing I was jointly responsible for the equipment design, build, installation and debug with the Manufacturing Engineer for the Kapton Etch sector I was jointly responsible for the process scale-up IBM Qualifies Manufacturing processes using a 4 Level Stage Gate Process Development leads the first two Gates with Manufacturing in support Manufacturing leads the second two Gates with Development in support The process was successfully qualified © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 54. Kapton Etch Process DevelopmentKapton Etch Process Development Results 4 US Patents were issued for this Project US Patent 4,846,929: Wet etching of thermally or chemically cured polyimide US Patent 4,857,143: Wet etching of cured polyimide US Patent 4,883,744: Forming a polymide pattern on a substrate US Patent 5,203,955: Method for etching an organic polymeric material In 1988, I was given an IBM Division Award for my work. © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning
  • 55. New Product CommercializationNew Product Commercialization End of Presentation © 2011 John Glenning© 2011 John Glenning