This paper presents a new fail mechanism for laser-marking induced die damage. Discovered during package qualification, silica spheres – commonly used as fillers in the molding material, was shown to act as a propagation medium that promote the direct interaction of the scribing laser beam and the die surface. Critical to the understanding of the fail mechanism is the deprocessing technique devised to allow layer by layer examination of the metallization and passivation layers in an encapsulated silicon die. The technique also made possible the inspection of the molding compound profile directly on top of the affected die area.

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