Fluorine contamination on Al bondpads will result in corrosion, affect quality of bondpads and pose problem such as non-stick on pad (NSOP) during wire bonding at assembly process. In this paper, a fluorine contamination case in wafer fabrication will be studied. Some wafers were reported to have bondpad discoloration and bonding problem at the assembly house. SEM, EDX, TEM, AES and IC techniques were employed to identify the root cause of the failure. Failure analysis results showed that fluorine contamination had caused bondpad corrosion and thicker native aluminium oxide, which had resulted in discolored bondpads and NSOP. It was concluded that fluorine contamination was not due to wafer fab process, but was due to the wafer packaging foam material. XPS/ESCA and TOF-SIMS advanced tools were used to study the chemical and physical failure mechanism of fluorine-induced defects. An unknown Al compound was found using XPS technique and identified it as [AlF6]3- using electrochemical theories and TOF-SIMS technique. This finding was very significance, as it helped developing a theoretical electrochemical model for fluorine-induced corrosion and helped understanding of the mechanism of fluorine-induced corrosion on aluminium bondpads. It was found that fluorine contamination had formed [AlF6]3-on the affected bondpads and it had caused further electrochemical reactions and formed some new products of (NH4)+ and OH-. Then [AlF6]3- and (NH4)+ ions combined and formed a corrosive complex compound, (NH4)3(AlF6), while the OH- reacted with Al and caused further corrosion.

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