IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Vol.27, No. 3, pp. 499-506, September 2004

Characterization of Hygroscopic Swelling Behavior of Mold Compounds and Plastic Packages

E. Stellrecht, B. Han, and M. Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Hygroscopic swelling behavior of mold compounds is analyzed by a novel experimental procedure using a whole-field displacement technique. Large variation in moisture content at the virtual equilibrium state is observed, while the coefficient of hygroscopic swelling is shown to not vary significantly. An investigation on an actual package is also performed to determine the hygroscopic swelling mismatch strains at the chip/mold compound interface. The results are compared with the thermal expansion mismatch strains at the same interface and reveal much higher hygroscopic swelling mismatch strains. The hygroscopic strains must be considered for reliability assessment when a package is subjected to environments where the relative humidity fluctuates.

Index Terms - Chip/mold compound interface, humidity, hygroscopic swelling behavior, mold compounds, plastic encapsulated microcircuit (PEM).

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