Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) are a fast growing technology for sensor and actuator miniaturization finding more and more commercial opportunities by having an important role in the field of Internet of Things (IoT). On the same note, Fan-out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP), namely WLFO technology of NANIUM, which is based on Infineon/ Intel eWLB technology, is also finding further applications, not only due to its high performance, low cost, high flexibility, but also due to its versatility to allow the integration of different types of components in the same small form-factor package. Despite its great potential it is still off limits to the more sensitive components as micro-mechanical devices and some type of sensors, which are vulnerable to temperature and pressure. In the interest of increasing FOWLP versatility and enabling the integration of MEMS, new methods of assembling and processing are continuously searched for. Dielectrics currently used for redistribution layer construction need to be cured at temperatures above 200°C, making it one of the major boundary for low temperature processing. In addition, in order to accomplish a wide range of dielectric thicknesses in the same package it is often necessary to stack very different types of dielectrics with impact on bill of materials complexity and cost.

In this work, done in cooperation with the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), we describe the implementation of commercially available SU-8 photoresist as a structural material in FOWLP, allowing lower processing temperature and reduced internal package stress, thus enabling the integration of components such as MEMS/MOEMS, magneto-resistive devices and micro-batteries. While SU-8 photoresist was first designed for the microelectronics industry, it is currently highly used in the fabrication of microfluidics as well as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and BIO-MEMS due to its high biocompatibility and wide range of available thicknesses in the same product family. Its good thermal and chemical resistance and also mechanical and rheological properties, make it suitable to be used as a structural material, and moreover it cures at 150°C, which is key for the applications targeted.

Unprecedentedly, SU-8 photoresist is tested in this work as a structural dielectric for the redistribution layers on 300mm fan-out wafers. Main concerns during the evaluation of the new WLFO dielectric focused on processability quality; adhesion to multi-material substrate and metals (copper, aluminium, gold, ¦); between layers of very different thicknesses; and overall reliability. During preliminary runs, processability on 300 mm fan-out wafers was evaluated by testing different coating and soft bake conditions, exposure settings, post-exposure parameters, up to developing setup. The outputs are not only on process conditions and results but also on WLFO design rules. For the first time, a set of conditions has been defined that allows processing SU-8 on WLFO, with thickness values ranging from 1 um to 150 um. The introduction of SU-8 in WLFO is a breakthrough in this fast-growing advanced packaging technology platform as it opens vast opportunities for sensor integration in WLP technology.

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