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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 32, Number 5, Page 626 (1988)
Electronic Packaging
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Improvement of adhesion of copper on polyimide by reactive ion-beam etching

by A. L. Ruoff, E. J. Kramer, C.-Y. Li
In this paper we describe the effect of oxygen-reactive ion-beam etching of a polyimide film to enhance its adhesion to an overlying, subsequently deposited copper film. The adhesion strength of the copper to the polyimide could be increased by as much as a factor of 25 as a result of the etching. Near the etching condition which resulted in optimum strength, the failure mode at the polyimide/copper interface changed from adhesive failure to tensile failure. The latter occurred at the "roots" of a "grass-like" surface structure of the ion-etched polyimide film.
Related Subjects: Films, thin; Interfaces; Materials; Packaging; Polymers; Surface science