Impact of microstructure and texture on copper thin film creep

More than two weeks ago

Understanding 'creepy' copper crystals

With the end of Moore’s law in sight, chip manufacturers are turning to 3D integration to continue the scaling trend. One of the advanced 3D integration technologies is wafer-to-wafer hybrid bonding of patterned copper-dielectric surfaces, realizing vertical interconnect pitches down to 1 µm. Bonding of the copper pads is achieved through annealing to induce thermal expansion, deformation and diffusion of the copper. Finite element model simulations are used to obtain an understanding of the limits of this process, which is essential for its industrial application.

For accurate simulations, an in-depth understanding of the active dislocation and diffusion based deformation mechanisms is key. In this project, you will map the occurrence of these mechanisms as a function of temperature and stress using copper thin film wafers. You will correlate the stress measurements with the film microstructure and texture, measured by electron back-scatter diffraction and X-ray diffraction. Finally you will combine these data in a material deformation model, to be applied in the thermo-mechanical simulations of the hybrid bonding copper pads.

Type of project: Thesis

Required degree: Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Thomas Tsau ( and Joke De Messemaeker (

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