Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 www.elsevier.


Investigation on bondability and reliability of UV-curable adhesive joints for stable mechanical properties in photonic device packaging
C.W. Tan


, Y.C. Chan


, H.P. Chan a, N.W. Leung b, C.K. So


a Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong Photonic Manufacturing Service Ltd., Suites 2207-11, 22/F, Tower 1, The Gateway, 25 Canton Road, TST, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Received 19 June 2003; received in revised form 1 October 2003

Abstract The demand for volume deployment of photonic components has increased, and with it the need to effectively manufacture in a reproducible and cost effective way. Therefore, it is important to keep the assembly process consistent and stable. A simple shear test setup was used in this study to determine the shear force that can be used as an instant indicator to the process stability of fiber arrays assembly. The shear test was then used to study the effect of curing conditions, surface roughness, and reliability test on the adhesion of the adhesive joints of single channel fiber arrays. In general, shear force increases with the curing conditions. However, thermal-induced residue stress during improper controlled curing process might lead to loss in ductility and reliability of the joints. Results showed that rough bonding surface for the coverlid can provide better wettability and enhances the shear strength. However, it might result in incomplete polymerization due to transmission loss of UV radiation during assembly process that was caused by the uneven surface. Furthermore, rough surface can affect the flow of adhesive that could result in incomplete-fills. Adhesives at the surrounding of V-grooves and edges of the joints were attacked by moisture at elevated temperature. This paper also discussed in details the possible failure mechanism of adhesive joints after temperature and humidity test. Ó 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1. Introduction The packaging of photonic components represents unique requirements and challenges. The major challenge that is uniquely associated with photonic packaging relates to the extremely tight assembly tolerance. In order to achieve and maintain alignment, it is important to pay special attention to the bond joints and joining techniques. Soldering, laser welding and adhesive bonding are the three most popular joining techniques in photonic packaging. Compensation offset can minimize or eliminate bond shift. Epoxies lend themselves to shrinkage compensation, design flexibility and

Corresponding author. Tel.: +852-2788-7130; fax: +8522788-7579. E-mail address: eeycchan@cityu.edu.hk (Y.C. Chan). 0026-2714/$ - see front matter Ó 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.microrel.2003.10.003


more advantages in terms of mass production though they are typically not reworkable [1,2]. Epoxies have been used widely as adhesives, coatings, underfills and encapsulants in the production of electronic and optoelectronics devices. Epoxy adhesives are used because of their fluidity in uncured stage, which allows them to flow easily into complex shapes, but once fully cured the highly cross-linked three-dimensional networks have superior adhesive and thermo-mechanical properties [3,4]. The resulting networks permanently affix the components; and the intractability of these materials is desirable from a reliability aspect. Because of their epoxide, hydroxyl, amine and other polar groups, the epoxies have high specific adhesion to glass substrate. Epoxies cure with only a fraction of the shrinkage of vinyl type adhesives. Also, the epoxies do not pull away from glass fibers. Many photonic devices go into underground or undersea optical network, so device reliability is

e. In order to optimize their uses. Cross-sectional view of a single channel fiber array. Curing conditions The curing process of this adhesive consists of a rapid polymerization initiated by UV-reactive photo-initiators and two stages of slow thermal polymerization.e. Perkin–Elmer Spectrum ONE FT-IR spectrometer equipped with an attenuated total reflectance (ATR) of 4 cmÀ1 resolution was utilized to assemble the spectra range from 4000 to 650 cmÀ1 of the samples. Reliability test The single channel fiber arrays that were prepared using curing condition 2 in Table 1 were subjected to a temperature and humidity test. 2. Eref would be calculated using the following equation [5]: Er ¼ Ereactive : Eref ð1Þ 2. relative absorbance intensities of the molecular bonds and groups were determined. 75.W. Er between the reactive peak. 2. induced by different grit size Alpha-Step Profiler Model 500 was used to determine the surface roughness. Chemical and structural changes of the cured and aged adhesive specimens were identified by comparing their IR spectra obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR).1. 85 °C for 2 h and followed by 60 °C for 10 h. misalignment due to curing shrinkage can be ruled out. 100. Tan et al. bondability and reliability of epoxy adhesive joints. Ra. Ereactive and reference peak. 1. as shown in Table 1. Scan length of 500 lm with scan speed of 50 lm/s and stylus force of 66. paramount. The effects of curing condition and surface roughness to adhesion strength and mechanical properties of epoxy joints were also reported. V-grooves on the fiber block are to provide pitch alignment of multiple optical fiber and epoxy adhesive is hereof used to form joining between coverlid and fiber block in order to fix optical fiber in position. Based on the three-point contact principal as shown in Fig. 50. 25. and surfaces induced by sand papers of 400 and 600 grit sizes. Epoxy-based UV-curable adhesive was used to affix the single channel optical fiber in between fiber block and coverlid.2. especially passive devices. The relative absorbance intensities of any two peaks were calculated as the ratio of their intensities. 125. Experimental procedures Fiber blocks with single channel V-groove and its coverlids were prepared using Toshiba USM-20A Slicing machine.e.. surface. This model was selected because it represents most of the construction of adhesive joint in optical devices.3. The base line method was used to calculate the absorbance intensities of different groups and molecules. In particular. In quantitative analysis. The corresponding relative intensities of the cured samples and the aged samples were compared. it is necessary to understand their behavior when exposed to climatic and environmental aggressions. The relative intensity. 2. of the glossy surface. this study reports on the mechanical stability of adhesive joint in fiber array. i. i. Shear test The lid shear test was carried out by using an INSTRON Mini 44 Tester with a cross-head speed of 5 .824 C. 85 °C and 85% RH for 0.. This paper reports the performances. Surface roughness..4. Ra. abrasive The 1437 cmÀ1 band which is due to CH2 deformation vibration was used as the internal reference peak. These samples were prepared by using various curing conditions. 2. i. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 Table 1 Curing conditions used in this experiment Run 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Condition UV post-cure UV-85 °C UV UV UV UV UV UV UV UV UV Power (mW/cm2 ) 1700 1700 2000 2000 1700 1700 1700 1500 1500 1000 1000 Time (s) 60 60 60 30 60 30 15 60 30 60 30 Fig. 1.8 mg was used in this experiment. and 150 h respectively.

2. the epoxy or at the interface. break at adhesive layer which is a cohesive failure. The shear blade was moving in the X -direction of the cross-sectional view of Fig. The degree of polymerization of adhesive strongly depends on the curing conditions and parameters as tabulated in Table 1. A cross-sectional view of the fiber array showing the possible failure modes in location 1––break at coverlid. Fig. These values can be used as the process control of the assembly process.1.8 N in which an average value of 81. Curing process 140 UCL 120 100 Shear force. The longer dwell time also contributes to a higher resistance to an external shear mechanism. The shear blade was placed approximately 0. N 80 60 40 20 0 0 5 10 15 Average LCL 20 Sample Fig. Failure modes of sheared samples are remarkably as important as the shear force value.9 N and LCL was 35. This observation can be clearly seen in Fig. it was found that the optical fiber was still sitting in the V-groove and being covered by adhesive on top of it. 3. The purpose of this shear test set-up is to provide immediate indication to line-personnel whether the process and/or the process parameters are operating within specifications. By referring to six-sigma standard. 2. the higher the shear force obtained.4 N falls within this range. as shown in Fig. Fig. 4. 3: 1. When these fracture surfaces were subjected to SEM examination. When the adhesive is properly cured. location 4––break at adhesive/fiber block interface and location 5––break at fiber block. Generally. Therefore. location 2––break at adhesive/coverlid interface. 5. Adhesive Cover lid Jacket Fiber optic Fiber block 1 2 3 4 5 3. the consistency of the assembly process is becoming relatively important. 5 shows the required shear force-to-fracture of these adhesive joints that were assembled using the conditions in Table 1. that failure under stress condition should often occur in one of the adherents rather than in Fig. as shown in Fig. break at fiber block. 4c. Shear force obtained from 20 samples that were assembled at the optimized curing conditions. There are five potentially observed failure modes in this experiment as listed below and shown in Fig. Obviously. Micro-structural analyses of the fractured surface of sheared-samples were then obtained by using a Philips XL 40 FEG scanning electron microscope (SEM). There were adhesive stains and small quantity of adhesive remnants. Shear force As the manufacturing of photonic device revolves into mass production mode. 3.W. 4a and b. break at adhesive/coverlid interface which is a adhesive failure. break at adhesive/fiber block interface which is another adhesive failure and. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 825 mm/min on 20 samples [6]. and adhesion of the epoxy to other materials should be so good.C. Tan et al.2. break at coverlid. upper control limit (UCL) and lower control limit (LCL) have been determined instead of only an average value. mostly around the location of fiber optic and V-groove were remaining on the coverlid. a reliable in situ monitor system is required in addition to an on-line visual inspection. Results and discussion 3. 2. this bonding interface between adhesive and coverlid is the weakest among the five interfaces mentioned above. the cohesive strength within the glue line is great. The UCL was determined to be 126. 2 also shows the distribution of the shear force of 20 samples. all of these 20 samples have demonstrated the failure mode of number 2. There are more adhesives observed on the coverlid after the shear test for samples that were cured at a lower curing degree. location 3––cohesive failure. As a result. These observations clearly showed that this joining was fractured at the adhesive/coverlid interface after shear test. 1. the higher the UV radiation power.5 mm from the top surface of fiber block. The failure mode has shifted to a cohesion failure from an adhesive . Fiber arrays were assembled using these curing conditions and followed by shear test. 3.

-displacement curve of samples that did undergo UV curing only shows that the plastic deformation has taken place before the breaking point. N 70 60 50 40 30 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Run Fig. Fig. SEM micrograph show the fracture surface at (a) top view at the fiber block. UV curing plus curing temperature of 85 °C. 90 80 Shear force. 5.. This indicates that lower the curing degree. 4.7 mm was observed before the adhesive joints reached the breaking point. 6. The shear force-vs. failure with increasing degree of cure. Since the curing condition of run 3 did not increase the shear force significantly compared to condition of run 6. Shear force strength obtained from samples assembled under various curing conditions. Shear force-vs. The effects of post-cure and heat treatment on top of the photo-initiation of UV radiation have significantly increased the shear force of fiber arrays. 6 compares the three curing conditions. it is clearly shown that the fracture surface is relatively . Tan et al. the latter was chosen as the optimized parameters for the rest of this study.e.W. and (c) at coverlid. (b) enlarged view of (a). the less adhesive has been solidified that result in lower resistance to the force in shear direction. approximately 0. UV curing only. In the attached SEM micrograph. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 Fig.-displacement curves with the fractograph of samples prepared under different curing conditions. and UV plus post-cure at lower temperature for longer time frame. Fig.826 C. A relatively long displacement. i.

shorter displacement was observed. (c) by SD 600. 8.C. Tan et al. 7. 400. the fracture surface showed a less brittle surface with very little plastic deformation. in order to get the strongest and most reliable adhesive joints out of this curing process. and the abrasive surface processed by vendor. sandpaper with grit size of 600.W. 8 shows that rougher surface can provide stronger interfacial bonding to the adhesive. 7. In addition. rougher bonding surfaces of the coverlids will lead to uneven surfaces of the adhesive. This reveals that the adhesive joints produced under this condition might have suffered from a certain extent of stresses such as thermal expansion stress.-displacement curve is much sharper. Among all samples the post-cured ones provide the smoothest curve and highest shear force. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 827 ABRASIVE SURFACE SD 400 3. The smoothest is the glossy surface. This rough 240 220 200 180 shear force surface roughness 3500 3000 Shear force. For samples that were exposed to UV radiation and 85 °C of heat curing. and other forms of residual stress due to non-uniform polymerization.3. angstrom 2500 . Fig. N 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Ra. thus they are less brittle compared to the joints with the other two curing conditions. It was observed that the fracture surfaces of these samples were extremely brittle. more plastic deformations and dimples are visible. as shown in Fig 9. (b) abrasive surface. the condition with post-curing at lower temperature with longer time if favorable. SEM micrographs of surfaces with various surface roughness (a) glossy surface. Surface roughness Four types of coverlid bonding surfaces were examined by using SEM as shown in Fig. shrinkage stress. However. Roughness of surfaces that were produced by different lapping processes. Glossy SURFACE SD 600 rough. followed by surface produced by Fig. Rough surface undoubtedly contributed to a better adhesion force. and (d) by SD 400. Though it broke at higher shear force if compared to samples cured only with UV. This indicates that the postcuring condition might have removed the residual stress at the joints induced by the exposure to 85 °C during first stage of post-curing. thus a higher shear force is required to remove the coverlids from the fiber arrays. the shear force-vs. Fig. Therefore.

716 9. 85 °C and 85% RH. one may produce coverlids’ cut edges with moderate roughness. 10 is probably not due to the chemical Fig. Though it provides relatively good shear adhesion. It has been reported by Wake [7] that rough surface can affect the spread of adhesive either because the adhesive cannot penetrate into the pits or because it penetrates too slow and sets before it completes the penetration. Therefore. a rougher bonding surface of the coverlid should be avoided.4 N before the test to approximately 15. a dicing blade with a grit size of 600 was selected for the dicing process. These observations might result in misalignment and coupling efficiency loss of the fiber optic assembly.875 9. too. 10. especially on quartz substrates. surface will affect the effectiveness of UV radiation transmission and result in an inconsistent curing degree which might affect the local core pitch. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 3.8–10] in the sample which was exposed to the humidity test. 9.494 10.2 N after 150 h of testing. In order to improve and further enhance the adhesion strength of the cut edges of the coverlid with the adhesive at the fillet. This can be achieved by choosing a blade with right grit size for dicing and flat-grooving.708 .e.962 10. 75 and 100 h have marginally exceeded the LCL limit that was determined in the first part of this paper. Shear force-vs. 11. N 60 50 40 30 20 10 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Test time. it is obvious that samples after an exposition of 125 and more hours to the test condition were relatively weak.828 C. Table 2 Relative absorbance intensity of hydroxyl at different reliability test time Test time (h) 0 25 50 75 100 125 Relative absorbance intensity of hydroxyl 9. However. A diminutive decrease in the ester characteristic peak was observed at 1730 and 1180 cmÀ1 . Thus.497 10. Reliability test The effect of the temperature and humidity test. The abrasive surface is not the preference in mass production of fiber arrays because of difficulties found in maintaining its cleanliness and an extra grinding or lapping process is required. the degradation in adhesion strength that we have observed in Fig. some adhesive remained on surrounding of the exposed fiber optic which are suspected as the uncured portion of adhesive. The shear forces of samples that were exposed to the reliability test for 50 . i. is obvious where the shear force of fiber arrays degrades from 81. Therefore. Therefore. 40% of the failure mode is cohesion failure and greater amount of the remnants on the bonding surface of coverlids was observed. A slight increase in the hydroxyl group at 3450 cmÀ1 and in the carboxylic group at 1058 cmÀ1 . In Fig. Tan et al. The similar design was applied to the surface finishing of a flatgroove that forms adhesion with the adhesive fillet. hour Fig. Fig. 10. and a corresponding drop in the ester peak at 1730 and 1180 cmÀ1 support the idea of hydrolysis [3.. additional cost would be caused. In addition.W.4. as shown in Fig. SEM micrograph of top surface of fiber block after shear test. 9 also shows that the gap at the surrounding of the top contact point of the optic fiber and the cover is not perfectly filled as observed at the polished bonding surface of the coverlid. especially in mass production since the polished surface is able to provide sufficient adhesion strength. Table 2 shows that the relative absorbance intensity of the hydroxyl group is in increasing trend with the test time increases. as shown in Fig.-temperature humidity test time curve. a blade with a grit size of 400 will cause undesired chipping along the edges. 90 80 70 Shear force. The rough morphology of adhesive is caused by the abrasive bonding surface of coverlid. 9.

Fig. Characteristic bands of ester (a) (mðCAOÞ % 1180 cmÀ1 ) and (b) (mðC@OÞ % 1730 cmÀ1 ). 12.C. (b) 50 h. Tan et al. (c) 100 h. 11. . SEM micrographs of the top surface of fiber block after shear test for samples that have underwent temperature and humidity test for (a) 0 h. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 829 Fig.W. and (d) 125 h.

12 shows the hydrolysis marks (craters) at the surrounding of the exposed optical fiber. Ra. SEM micrographs of bonding surfaces of coverlids after shear test for samples that have underwent temperature and humidity test for (a) 0 h.830 C. Tan et al. The dark areas are the plasticizing mark of the adhesive. (e) Temperature and humidity tests have apparently degraded the adhesion strength due to moisture absorption. The mean is approximately 81. rough surface will cause flow difficulty. location of the optical fiber and the edges of the bonding. and FTIR results suggested that the joint has experienced hydrolytic attacks when an increase in carboxylic and hydroxyl group but a corresponding decrease in ester peaks was observed. It is believed that moisture was penetrating via the bonding interface which lead to degradation of the adhesion strength at the bonding interface. They became more brittle and relatively unreliable. Conclusions A simple shear test experimental setup was used to study the effect of curing conditions (thermal history).. it should be due to the degradation of the adhesion strength at the interface within coverlid and adhesive. In Fig. 13. a break at an adhesive/coverlid interface. structure degradation of the bulk adhesive. rough surface or uneven surface should be avoided in adhesive joints.4 N. In addition. However. has strongly enhanced the strength of the adhesive joints. while the upper control limit is about 126.W. it can be concluded as below: (a) A shear test was setup and the shear force can be used as internal process control to provide immediate indication of the process stability. Extreme curing condition. the coverlid/adhesive interface remains as the weakest point at this construction. So. 13 the moisture penetration path can clearly be seen which begins from the V-groove.8 N. (c) The surface roughness. elevated temperature and short dwell time at post-curing.e. (b) Generally. Based on the experimental results and observations obtained in this study. this layer will consistently be observed as the failure mode. the shear force increases with the curing degree.e. surface roughness and reliability test on the adhesion strength of the adhesive joint in fiber arrays. caused the adhesive joints losing their ductility. Fig. unless there is inconsistency in this process or in the experimental setup. i. / Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 Fig. Conversely. in the meantime it was affecting the curing uniformity and spread of adhesive that have huge impact to the coupling efficiency.. Selectively. It begins with bubble-like vacant. It has been well known that the bonding interface has the lowest surface energy if compared to the bulk materials. 4. The V-groove/ . thus affecting the fill up efficiency of adhesive.9 N and the lower control limit is about 35. (b) 50 h. and (c) 125 h. Only one failure mode was observed. In view of the fact that the adhesive/fiber block interface has been strengthened by the fiber optic that was clamped firmly by V-groove and the cured adhesive. then these vacant were connected and spread slowly. (d) The strength of the adhesive joint can be further enhanced by using a coverlid with a rougher cutting edge and a rougher flat-groove of the fiber block which can form a stronger adhesion to the adhesive fillet. i.

/ Microelectronics Reliability 44 (2004) 823–831 831 adhesive interface was found to be one of the favorite moisture penetration paths apart from the edges that result in hydrolysis attack to the adhesive at the surrounding of optical fiber. Jack Wang and Mr. Tan CW. Tan CW. Thanks to Ms. Dubois C. Miyamoto N. [2] Nagata H. Opt Fiber Technol 1995. Behavior of anisotropic conductive joints under mechanical loading. Characterization of thermally re-workable thermosets: materials for environmentally friendly processing and re-use. Microelectron Reliab 2003.70:245– 51. Mitsugi N. Yeung NH.1:283–8. Han BJ. Photochemical degradation study of an epoxy material by IR-ATR spectroscopy. 9440025). London: Elsevier Applied Science Publishers LTD. Ober CK. 662–6. Wake WC. Hepburn DM.W. [6] [7] [8] References [9] [1] Ling YM.38(15):3811–8. Mat Sci Eng B 2003. Chiu YW.43: 131–9. 2nd ed. Vebrel J. Polym Degrad Stabil 1988. [3] [4] Acknowledgements [5] The authors would like to acknowledge the grant from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region––Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF). Cooper JM.C. Humidity effects on adhesion strength between solder ball and epoxy underfills. 1986. Chen JS. Kemp IJ. Hence. An investigation of the surface properties and curing behavior of photocurable cationic films photosensitized by antracene.21:781–91. Tan Sai Choo. Miyama Y. Shi FG. Polym Degrad Stabil 2000. University–Industry Collaboration Program (Project no.98(3):255–64. and CityU ref. Chan YC. Polymer 1997. Mr. Evaluation of new UV-curable adhesive material for stable bonding between optical fibers and waveguide de- [10] vices: problems in device packaging. Park CE. Liu WN. Polymer 2001. Adhesion and the formulation of adhesives. Kim EO. Money L. Adhesive joint design for high yield & low cost assembly of fiber optic devices.43(3):481–6. Sean Peng for their technical supports. Cho JD. Chambaudet A. Shiroishi M. UIT/033. p.62: 353–9. Balali R. Corrosion study of anisotropic conductive joints on polyimide flexible circuits. In: Proceedings of IEEE ECTC 2002. Chan YC. Poliks MD. Polym Test 2002. Tan et al. . Hong JW. Degradation of filled epoxy resin surfaces. Bair BE. Kim HK. up to a certain extent it will loosen the fastening mechanism and potentially lead to coupling efficiency loss.