Characterizations of Gold Bonding Wire in the IC Package

Gold 2003
Abstract The gold wire bonding technology is widely used for electrically connecting aluminum pads on IC devices to external terminal of semiconductor.
In 1960’s, the breaking load of the gold bonding wire was about 100 MPa only. However, recently the wire with 300 MPa in strength has been developed. Since the gold bonding wire was started to use for IC package in early 1960’, the many types of gold bonding wire has been developing continuously in order to meet market’s needs, such as high density, small size and thin type of IC packages.
Moreover, electronic equipments were used in automobile applications and also demanded good reliability under severe temperature environment. Thus Au-Pd alloy wire has been introduced instead of the wire with 4N(99.99wt%) purity gold to provide excellent reliability in Au-Al bond interface. The phenomena at Au-Al interface in the high temperature storage have been already explained by several studies as follows.
There are five phases of inter metallic compound (IMC) between gold and aluminum. Just after bond gold ball on aluminum pad, Au5Al2 phase was formed and occupied almost all of IMC area. During high temperature storage test, Au5Al2 phase transformed to Au4Al phase, then this phase was corroded by Bromide (Br) ion that was isolated from molding resin. Thus the reliability between Au and Al degraded. In case of Au-Pd alloy wire, the concentrated palladium phase (Au-Pd-Al) was formed at the interface between Au alloy ball and Al pad. The Au-Pd-Al phase prevented from transforming between Au and Al, therefore Au5Al2 phase was hard to transform to Au4Al phase. Consequently the reliability at the interface between Au alloy ball and Al pad was less degradation.
However, in recent study using several advanced analysis technique, Au4Al phase was found at the interface between Au alloy ball and Al pad same as the case of conventional gold wire (4N purity gold bonding wire). It was suggested that the formation of concentrated palladium phase (Au-Pd-Al) related the excellent reliability at ball bonding process.
Keywords: Bonding Wire, Au, Pd, Reliability
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