Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Richardson, Kathleen

Committee Member

Luzinov , Igor

Committee Member

Kennedy , Marian

Committee Member

Peng , Fei


The semiconductor industry is currently facing transistor scaling issues due to fabrication thresholds and quantum effects. In this 'More-Than-Moore' era, the industry is developing new ways to increase device performance, such as stacking chips for three-dimensional integrated circuits (3D-IC). The 3D-IC's superior performance over their 2D counterparts can be attributed to the use of vertical interconnects, or through silicon vias (TSV). These interconnects are much shorter, reducing signal delay. However TSVs are susceptible to various thermo-mechanical reliability concerns. Heating during fabrication and use, in conjunction with coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch between the copper TSVs and silicon substrate, create harmful stresses in the system. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the signal integrity of Cu-TSVs and determine the major contributing factors of the signal degradation upon in-use conditions. Two series of samples containing blind Cu-TSVs embedded in a Si substrate were studied, each having different types and amounts of voids from manufacturing. The samples were thermally cycled up to 2000 times using three maximum temperatures to simulate three unique in-use conditions. S11 parameter measurements were then conducted to determine the signal integrity of the TSVs. To investigate the internal response from cycling, a protocol was developed for cross-sectioning the copper TSVs. Voids were measured using scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam imaging of the cross-sections, while the microstructural evolution of the copper was monitored with electron backscattering diffraction. An increase in void area was found to occur after cycling. This is thought to be the major contributing factor in the signal degradation of the TSVs, since no microstructural changes were observed in the copper.



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