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Solid-liquid interdiffusion (SLID) bonding is one of the most promising novel methods for micro-(opto)-electromechanical system (MEMS/MOEMS) wafer-level packaging. However, the current SLID bonding solutions require the use of an electrochemical deposition method for MEMS/MOEMS wafers as well, which significantly complicates the process integration options. Hence, this work proposes Co as a potential option for compatible contact metallization on MEMS/MOEMS wafers to utilize mature Cu–Sn SLID bonding. The focus of this study is on gaining a fundamental understanding of the microstructural formation and evolution of Co substrates in contact with Cu–Sn electroplated silicon wafers and identifying possible failures of joints during bonding, which are prerequisites for guaranteeing devices’ manufacturability, functionality, and long-term reliability. The effect of bonding time and temperature on the microstructural evolution and phase formation of Co substrates in contact with Cu–Sn electroplated silicon chips was investigated. Moreover, a phase diagram of the Co–Cu–Sn ternary system was thermodynamically evaluated based on experimental data. Samples were successfully bonded at 250 °C for 1500 and 2000 s and at 280 °C for 1000 s. The main interfacial intermetallic compounds were identified as (Cu,Co)6Sn5, Cu3Sn, and (Co,Cu)Sn3. Co stabilized the high-temperature hexagonal (η) Cu6Sn5 phase down to room temperature. Bond detachment was observed when applying either a higher bonding temperature or a longer bonding time. Two critical factors that cause detachment during bonding were recognized: first, a change in thermodynamic equilibrium when exceeding the maximum allowed Co content in Cu6Sn5 formed adjacent to the CoSn3 phase and a discontinuous change in the Co content in the Cu6Sn5 grown on the Cu and Co sides; second, stress exerted due to the rapid growth of (Co,Cu)Sn3 between the Co substrate and (Cu,Co)6Sn5. Therefore, achieving successful bonding in the Co–Sn–Cu SLID system requires governing the amount of dissolved Co atoms in liquid Sn and the CoSn3 formation, both of which can be achieved by manipulating the relative thickness of the Co, Cu, and Sn layers. The observations and calculations in this work show that a prerequisite for obtaining successful bonding in the Co–Sn–Cu SLID system at 250 °C is a Co–to–Sn thickness ratio of 0.04 or less.
- Cu–Co–Sn system
- MEMS packaging
- Solid-liquid interdiffusion bonding