First Advisor

Sung Yi

Date of Publication

Winter 4-14-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Integrated circuits -- Design and construction -- Equipment and supplies, Microwave ovens -- Scientific applications, Polymers -- Curing



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 77 pages)


As the demand for microprocessors is increasing with more and more consumers using integrated circuits in their daily life, the demand on the industry is increasing to ramp up production.

In order to speed up the manufacturing processes, new and novel approaches are trying to change certain aspects of it. Microwaves have been tried as an alternative to conventional ovens in the curing of the polymers used as underfills and encapsulants in integrated circuits packages. Microwaves however being electromagnetic waves have non uniform energy distribution in different settings, causing burning or incomplete cure of polymers.

In this study, we compare the two main types of microwaves proposed to perform the task of curing the polymers. To limit the study and obtain comparable results, both microwaves were limited to propagate in a single mode, TE10. The first is a closed microwave cavity using air as the propagation medium, and the second is an open microwave oven with a PTFE cavity that uses an evanescent field to provide energy.

The open air cavity was studied with different orientations of a substrate placed inside it so as to find the best case scenario in the curing process. This scenario was then compared with the best case scenario found for a sample cured in an evanescent field.

This comparison yielded results showing an advantage of the open microwave in maximum field present, thus leading to higher localized energy absorption and temperatures in the substrate, however this case also lead to a higher temperature gradient. The substrate cured in the closed microwave has a lower temperature gradient, but also a lower maximum field which leads to slower cure.

In the TE10 mode therefore, a closed microwave has an overall advantage as the heating process is only slightly slower than that of an open cavity, but the temperature gradient in this case is significantly lower.


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