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Title:
PLANARIZATION FOR SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE PACKAGE FABRICATION PROCESSES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/177742
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of electronic device package fabrication includes dispensing a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate. The planarizing liquid is then processed to provide a hardened, substantially solid material in the region between adjacent features. In some examples, the planarizing liquid can be a dielectric material used in the formation of multilevel redistribution layers or a packaging resin material used for packaging semiconductor chips. A planarization apparatus of an example includes a substrate support, a liquid dispensing system configured to dispense the planarizing liquid onto the substrate, a hardening system for hardening the planarizing liquid, and a planar element system to press into the planarizing liquid.

Inventors:
CHEN, Han-Wen (10800 Johnson Avenue, Cupertino, CA, 95014, US)
VERHAVERBEKE, Steven (139 Welsh Street, Unit 10San Francisco, CA, 94107, US)
GOUK, Roman (6333 Lillian Way, San Jose, CA, 95120, US)
CHO, Kyuil (4509 Carlyle Court, Santa Clara, CA, 95054, US)
FU, Boyi (1164 McKay Drive, San Jose, CA, 95131, US)
Application Number:
US2019/018154
Publication Date:
September 19, 2019
Filing Date:
February 15, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
APPLIED MATERIALS, INC. (3050 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, CA, 95054, US)
International Classes:
H01L23/31; H01L21/56; H01L23/29
Foreign References:
US20060003600A12006-01-05
JP2008114195A2008-05-22
US20070032083A12007-02-08
US20160260623A12016-09-08
US20120064720A12012-03-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTERSON, B., Todd et al. (Patterson + Sheridan, LLP24 Greenway Plaza, Suite 160, Houston TX, 77046, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of electronic device package fabrication, comprising:

dispensing a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate; and

processing the planarizing liquid to harden the planarizing liquid to form a substantially solid material in the region between the adjacent features.

2. The method of claim 1 , wherein

the adjacent features are semiconductor chips, and

the planarizing liquid is packaging resin precursor.

3. The method of claim 1 , wherein the planarizing liquid is an epoxy resin precursor.

4. The method of claim 1 , wherein the distance between adjacent features is greater than 1 millimeter.

5. The method of claim 1 , wherein the processing to harden the planarizing liquid includes one or more of exposure to ultraviolet light and heating.

6. The method of claim 1 , wherein the planarizing liquid is dispensed into the region between adjacent features via a spray nozzle.

7. The method of claim 1 , wherein the volume of planarizing liquid dispensed into the region between adjacent features is less than or equal to the volume of the region between adjacent features.

8. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

dispensing an additional amount of the planarizing liquid onto the substrate for a spin coating process prior to processing the planarizing liquid for hardening.

9. The method of claim 1 , further comprising: pressing a planar element into the substrate prior to processing the planarizing liquid for hardening.

10. The method of claim 9, further comprising:

removing the planar element from the substrate after processing the planarizing liquid for hardening.

11. A method of electronic device package fabrication, comprising:

positioning a dry patterned film into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate;

pressing a planar element onto the dry patterned film on the substrate and heating the dry patterned film to form and planarize a flowable material; and

processing the flowable material to harden the flowable material to form a substantially solid material in the region between the adjacent features.

12. The method of claim 11 , wherein a height from one of the adjacent features to a top surface of the substantially solid material is about 0.1 micron to 1 micron.

13. A planarization apparatus, comprising:

a substrate support onto which a substrate can be placed;

a liquid dispensing system configured to dispense a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features protruding from the substrate; and

a hardening system for hardening the planarizing liquid to form a substantially solid material in the region between adjacent features.

14. The planarization apparatus according to claim 13, wherein

the liquid dispensing system comprises an inkjet head,

the hardening system comprises at least one of a heating element for heating the substrate and an ultraviolet exposure system for exposing the substrate to ultraviolet light.

15. The planarization apparatus according to claim 13, further comprising: a planar element system configured to press a substantially flat planar element into the planarizing liquid and to remove the substantially flat planar element from the planarizing liquid, wherein

the hardening system comprises a heating element for heating the substrate.

Description:
PLANARIZATION FOR SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE PACKAGE FABRICATION

PROCESSES

BACKGROUND

Field

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to semiconductor device package manufacturing methods and apparatuses for semiconductor device package manufacturing.

Description of the Related Art

[0002] The packaging of semiconductor devices includes various steps in which a photopatternable material is deposited as layer onto a topographically uneven surface. For example, in some stages of manufacture, a photopatternable dielectric material, such as a polyimide material, is used in the formation of a redistribution layer (RDL) for making wiring connections from chip surface contacts to ball grid array (BGA) pads. In general, photolithographic patterning processes are sensitive to topographic effects, such as differences in patterning layer heights or thickness, due to limitations on the achievable depth of focus (DOF) during exposure processes. Planarization processes that involve only spin-on of materials are considered inadequate for the expected patterning and packaging requirements of future devices due to an inability to sufficiently planarize the topographic features present in some devices.

SUMMARY

[0003] In an embodiment, a method of electronic device package fabrication includes dispensing a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate and processing the planarizing liquid to harden the planarizing liquid to form a substantially solid material in the region between the adjacent features.

[0004] In another embodiment, a method of electronic device package fabrication includes positioning a dry patterned film into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate, pressing a planar element onto the dry patterned film on the substrate and heating the dry patterned film to form and planarize a flowable material, and processing the flowable material to harden the flowable material to form a substantially solid material in the region between the adjacent features.

[0005] In yet another embodiment, a planarization apparatus includes a substrate support onto which a substrate can be placed, a liquid dispensing system configured to dispense a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features protruding from the substrate, and a hardening system for hardening the planarizing liquid to form a substantially solid material in the region between adjacent features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Figure 1 schematically depicts a planarization issue present in electronic device package fabrication processes.

[0007] Figure 2 depicts a trench fill method of planarization according to a first example.

[0008] Figure 3 depicts a multi-layer method for building up a planar redistribution dielectric layer above a patterned surface according to a second example.

[0009] Figure 4 depicts a trench fill method of planarization according to a third example.

[0010] Figure 5 depicts a planarization method according to a fourth example.

[0011] Figure 6 schematically illustrates a planarization process in a redistribution dielectric layer fabrication process above a patterned surface of high-aspect-ratio Cu pillars.

[0012] Figure 7 schematically illustrates a redistribution layer fabrication process including via-on-via stacking.

[0013] Figure 8 depicts a trench fill method of planarization according to a fifth example.

[0014] Figure 9 depicts a planarization apparatus according to an embodiment. [0015] Figure 10 depicts a planarization apparatus according to another embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the claims. The accompanying drawings are included to provide further understanding, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate example embodiment(s) and, together with the description, serve to explain principles and operation of the various embodiments.

[0017] So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present disclosure can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the disclosure, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only certain embodiments and are therefore not to be considered limiting of the scope of the present disclosure, which may encompass other equally effective embodiments.

[0018] To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate substantially identical elements that are common to the figures. It is contemplated that elements and features disclosed for any one embodiment may be beneficially incorporated in other embodiments without specific recitation.

[0019] Additional features and advantages will be set forth in the detailed description which follows, and in part will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from that description or recognized by practicing the embodiments as described herein, including the detailed description which follows, the claims, as well as the appended drawings.

[0020] Fig. 1 schematically depicts a planarization problem encountered in various aspects of a semiconductor device package fabrication. In general, a feature 10 and a feature 20 are disposed adjacent to one another on an underlying surface 30 at a distance d1. Features 10 and 20 can be semiconductor dies, interconnect elements, or any structure causing uneven terrain locally or globally. The underlying surface 30 can be a substrate, a semiconductor die, an interconnect element exposed on a redistribution layer, or any substratum. The height of feature 10 from the underlying surface 30 is the height hi The height of feature 20 from the underlying surface 30 is the height h2. In general, the heights hi and h2 are arbitrary values. In many instances, the height hi and height h2 are substantially equal to one another, but such is not required. In some instances, the heights hi and h2 are each on the order of a micron (pm) or more, for example, 1-10 microns each. The distance d1 is arbitrary, but in some instances may be on the order of a millimeter (mm) or more, for example, approximately 5-15 mm. In other instances, the distance d1 may be a micron in size to tens of microns in size, for example 1 micron to 50 microns.

[0021] In general, another device layer (or semiconductor chip) will be formed on, stacked on, or otherwise disposed above the features 10 and 20. As a part of the formation of another device layer in a conventional fabrication process, a deposition process attempting to achieve planar topography may be used, such as a spin-on technique involving a polymeric-type material 40. However, it has been found that such spin-on only techniques provide incomplete or otherwise unsatisfactory planarization results depending on the actual dimensions of distance d1 , height hi , and height h2, along with other parameters, such as viscosity of the polymeric-type material 40 and rotational speed and angular acceleration during the spin-on technique. The unsatisfactory planarization is indicated by a step height h3 in Fig. 1. The step height h3 is the height from one of the feature 10 and feature 20 to a surface 50 of the polymeric-type material 40.

[0022] Larger values for the step height h3 tend to complicate subsequent fabrication steps. Such may be especially the case when several layers are to be formed one on the other as in a multi-level RDL fabrication process. When multiple layers are being stacked one on the other, planarity differences may accumulate such that subsequent layers in the stack become difficult or impossible to form and pattern appropriately. The embodiments described herein, shown in Figs. 2-8, provide for the step height h3 of about 0.1 micron to 1 micron, such as 0.3 micron. [0023] In a particular embodiment, a method of electronic device package fabrication includes dispensing a planarizing liquid into a region between adjacent features that protrude from a substrate, pressing a planar element onto the substrate to reshape the planarizing liquid to fill just in between the adjacent features, processing the planarizing liquid while the planar element is on to harden the planarizing liquid to form a substantially solid material in the region between the adjacent features, and removing the planar element after hardening of the planarizing liquid.

[0024] Fig. 2 depicts a planarization method according to a first example. In this first example, several die 100 are disposed on a carrier substrate 200 at a distance d1. The carrier substrate 200 may be a frame element. In this case, an adhesion layer (not specifically depicted in drawing) would be required to attach the die 100 to the carrier substrate 200. The frame element can be, for example, a glass substrate with blind square cavities into which die 100 can be placed. As depicted, there is a trench region 220 between the adjacent die 100. A liquid dispenser 230 is configured to dispense droplets of a polymeric material 240 at various locations in the trench region 220. The droplets may be dispensed at the various locations by movement of the liquid dispenser 230 relative to the carrier substrate 200, movement of the carrier substrate 200 relative to liquid dispenser 230, or a combination of movements by the liquid dispenser 230 and the carrier substrate 200.

[0025] In this first example, the droplets of polymeric material 240 are dispensed into a region between adjacent die 100. Furthermore, in this first example, no droplets of polymeric material 240 are dispensed directly on an upper surface of any of the die 100. The droplets of the polymeric material 240 dispensed into a region between adjacent die 100 may include a matrix of droplets 260. After the droplets of polymeric material 240 have been dispensed, a cover element 250 is applied to the surface of the substrate 200 on the die 100 side to planarize the polymeric material 240. Pressure, heating, and/or UV radiation is applied to cure/harden the polymeric material 240 while the cover element 250 is positioned on the substrate.

[0026] After the pressure curing/hardening of the polymeric material 240, the cover element 250 can be removed to leave a planarized polymeric material 240 in the trench region 220. By control of the dispensed amount, size, and/or location of the droplets of polymeric material 240, the upper surfaces of the die 100 can remain clear of polymeric material 240. Furthermore, in some examples, the dispensed volume of the polymeric material 240 can be greater than the volume of the region between die 100 so as long as the resulting step height at the die edge is reduced.

[0027] The cover element 250 can be any material that is substantially planar in the relevant contacting region. Cover element 250 can be a hard opaque material, a hard transparent material, a soft opaque material, or a soft transparent material. For example, the cover element 250 may be metallic, glass, polymeric, or combinations of these materials.

[0028] In a particular example, the distance d1 is about 10 mm, the liquid dispenser 230 is an inkjet head type dispenser, the polymeric material 240 is a polyimide material, the cover element 250 is pressed into contact with the substrate at about 5 bars, and the carrier substrate 200 is heated to around 150 °C before the cover element 250 is removed. In other examples, the contact pressure may be from about 1 bar to about 15 bars and the temperature may be from about 75 °C to about 175 °C. In some examples, a transparent or at least partially transparent material is used for the cover element 250, and light can pass therethrough to cure and harden the polymeric material 240. In particular examples, the light can be ultraviolet light, such as that provided by a mercury arc-lamp or an excimer laser source. A step height, the height from one of the die 100 to a top surface of the polymeric material 240, is about 0.1 micron to 1 micron, such as 0.3 micron.

[0029] Fig. 3 depicts a planarization method according to a second example. This second example can be used in the formation of a first RDL dielectric layer, more particularly in the formation of a substantially planar first RDL layer. In the second example, several die 100 are disposed on the carrier substrate 300 at the distance d1. A liquid dispenser 330 is configured to dispense a polymeric material 340 at various locations inside the trench region 220 that is between adjacent die 100.

[0030] In this second example, no polymeric material 340 is dispensed directly on an upper surface of any of the die 100 from the liquid dispenser 330. However, in other examples, some amount of the polymeric material 340 can be dispensed directly on one or more die 100, though in these other examples, the amount of polymeric material 340 dispensed directly onto the upper surface of the die 100 will be a lesser amount than an amount of polymeric material 340 that is dispensed into trench region 220.

[0031] The droplets may be dispensed at the various locations by movement of the liquid dispenser 330 relative to the carrier substrate 300, movement of the carrier substrate 300 relative to liquid dispenser 330, or a combination of movements by the liquid dispenser 330 and the carrier substrate 300.

[0032] After the polymeric material 340 have been dispensed in the trench region 220, the substrate 300 is subjected to a spinning process, such as in a spin coating process at several hundred to a few thousand RPM (revolutions per minute). The dispensing of polymeric material 340 preferential to the trench region 220 prior to the spinning process has been found to result in a substantial step height reduction that is not provided by a conventional spin coating process in which a polymeric material might simply form a layer with similar topography to that of the underlying surface.

[0033] Fig. 3 depicts the liquid dispenser 330 applying additional polymeric material 345 (also referred to as an overcoat spray) to the substrate 300 while substrate 300 is spinning. In some examples, the additional application of polymeric material 345 during the spinning process may be optional, or unnecessary, depending on relative volumes of the trench region 220 and the amount of polymeric material 340 dispensed prior to the spinning process. A step height, the height from one of the die 100 to a top surface of the the polymeric material 340, is about 0.1 micron to 1 micron, such as 0.3 micron. No pressing or molding by a cover element 250 is depicted in Fig. 3, but in other examples, this second example process may be combined with the first example process, in whole or in part. In some examples, the polymeric material 345 may be a photopatternable material (e.g., a photoresist) and may retain the ability to be photopatterned in a photolithographic process after the planarization processing has been completed.

[0034] In a particular example, the distance d1 is about 10 mm, the liquid dispenser 330 is spay type nozzle, the polymeric material 340 and/or the polymeric material 345 is a polyimide material that has been diluted with a solvent, such as N- methylpyrrolidone (NMP) or the like, so as to reduce viscosity so the resulting solution can be passed through a spray type nozzle and/or to promote the spin coat processing.

[0035] In some examples, the liquid dispenser 330 may comprise different nozzles or liquid output ports for the initial dispensing of polymeric material 340 to the trench region 220 and the subsequent dispensing of polymeric material 345 for the spin coating process. In other examples, the liquid dispenser 330 may use the same nozzle(s) or liquid output port(s) for dispensing of polymeric material 340 into the trench region and for the subsequent spin coating process.

[0036] In some examples, the polymeric material 345 may be planarized by a technique other than spin coating, such as by screen printing, doctor blading, or the like. In general, the polymeric material 345 may be baked after planarization processing to a temperature that is less than a temperature at which the polymeric material 345 would substantially lose the ability to be photopatterned.

[0037] Fig. 4 depicts a planarization method according to a third example. In this third example, several die 100 are disposed on a carrier substrate 400 at the distance d1. An inkjet nozzle 430 is used to dispense planarization material 440 into the trench region 220. In general, the planarization material 440 is a low viscosity, low surface tension, curable material that spreads within the trench region 220 to provide a substantially planar upper surface.

[0038] The planarization material 440 and/or the exposed surfaces of the trench region 220 can be modified or selected such that planarization material 440 has a low contact angle with the exposed surfaces of the trench region 220. The planarization material 440 thus flows within the trench region 220, as depicted in Fig. 4.

[0039] After the planarization material 440 flows within the trench region 220, the planarization material can be subjected to a curing/hardening process, such as exposure to heat or ultraviolet light. The amount of planarization material 440 dispensed within trench region 220 and the dispensing locations within the trench region 220 can be selected such that the trench region 220 is substantial filled by the planarization material 440. In some examples, it may be sufficient to only partially fill the trench region 220 with planarization material 440 so as to reduce the step height between the edges of the die 100 and the bottom of the trench region (upper surface of the planarization material).

[0040] After planarization material 440 is cured/hardened, additional planarization processes may be performed to achieve better or more complete planarization if necessary. For example, the process of the third example can be combined with one or both of the process of the first example or the process of the second example. A step height, the height from one of the die 100 to a top surface of the planarization material 440, is about 0.1 micron to 1 micron, such as 0.3 micron.

[0041] In general, the planarization material 440 can be any material capable of planarizing flow within the trench region 220 at compatible process conditions (e.g., temperature and pressure conditions) for manufacturing. In some examples, the planarization material 440 can be a UV curable, urethane-based acrylate, a UV curable, polyester-epoxy, or a UV curable, epoxy-based acrylate. The planarization material 440 in some examples may preferably have a viscosity of about 13 to about 15 centipoise (cP) at 21 °C. The planarization material 440 may also be selected to provide relatively little volume shrinkage upon curing.

[0042] In a particular example, the distance d1 is about 10 mm, the inkjet nozzle 430 is one of multiple nozzles in an inkjet head type device, the planarization material 440 is a urethane-based acrylate material that is UV curable with a viscosity of about 14.5 cP at 21 °C.

[0043] Fig. 5 depicts a fourth example of a planarization process. The fourth example can be used in the formation of RDL dielectric layers, more particularly in the formation of substantially planar RDL layers. In this fourth example, a plurality of wires 510 is disposed on a substrate 500. The placement and spacing between adjacent wires 510 on the substrate 500 is in general set according to the requirements of circuit design, device packaging parameters, and manufacturability. Likewise the individual widths of wires 510 are set according to the requirements of circuit design, device packaging parameters, and manufacturability. The RDL wiring patterns are not limited to simple line/space patterns, but may include other pattern elements, such as fan-out arrays, serpentine structures, comb-like structures, contact pads, layer-to-layer interconnects, metal pillars, circuit elements, or the like . The number of RDL layers in a final device is typically between 2 and 4.

[0044] In at least some regions of an RDL layer, the spacing d2 between adjacent wires 510 can be about a micron to tens of microns, for example, about 1 micron to about 50 microns. The cross-sectional width of each wire 510 may be of similar size. In manufacturing of the RDL layer, the step height between an upper surface of a metal layer and an upper surface of the dielectric layer may be about 5 to about 10 microns or so. Because multiple RDL layers are to be stacked one on the other, non-planarity in a lower RDL can adversely affect an upper level. Relatedly, the ability to perform the patterning associated with fabrication of the RDL layers can be adversely affected by non-planar layers because the photolithographic tool used for patterning has a finite depth of focus (DOF).

[0045] In the fourth example, a liquid dispenser 530 dispenses a polymeric material 540 onto the substrate 500. The polymeric material 540 is dispensed to cover the wires 510 and to fill the spaces 515 between the wires 510. As depicted, the polymeric material 540 does not initially have a planar upper surface, but rather provides a conformal-type coating in which the upper surface of polymeric material 540 corresponds to the underlying topography of the substrate 500, that is the topographic pattern formed by wires 510 and the spaces 515, collectively. The as- dispensed polymeric material 540 may optionally be subjected to a spin coating process to distribute the polymeric material on the substrate 500. In some examples, the polymeric material may have a viscosity of about 1000 centipoise (cP) or more at 25 °C.

[0046] In a subsequent step, a planar element 550 is placed in contact with the polymeric material 540. The planar element 550 can be pressed into the polymeric material 540 with sufficient force to cause the polymeric material 540 to conform to planar element 550. In some examples, the planar element 550 might be heated and/or the substrate 500 might be heated to promote molding of the polymeric material 540. [0047] The pressing and/or heating may be conducted under low pressure or vacuum conditions to limit void formation and/or promote removal of voids in the polymeric material 540 that might be caused by trapping or entrainment of gases within the polymeric material 540. After the pressing with planar element 550, it is removed to leave a planarized upper surface of the polymeric material 540. In general, UV exposure would not be used for curing/hardening of the polymeric material 540 in this example because the planarized polymeric material 540 is to be used as a photopatternable dielectric material for the formation of subsequent RDL layers. In particular, the planarized polymeric material 540 will be subjected to a photolithographic process using UV light to selectively harden portions of the polymeric material 540 according to a photomask pattern corresponding to the desired wiring pattern of the subsequent RDL layer. The unexposed/hardened portions of the polymeric material 540 would then be removed by wet development in a solvent or the like.

[0048] If the polymeric material 540 is to remain photopatternable after the planarization process, the heating during the pressing of planar element 550 must be limited with respect to applied temperature and time to prevent the entirety of the polymeric material 540 from curing/hardening before UV patterning can be conducted.

[0049] In a particular example, the polymeric material 540 is a photosensitive polyimide material. Heating during the planarization process is to a maximum temperature of about 120 °C to about 160 °C, pressing time is about 3 to about 12 minutes, and applied pressure is between about 5 bars to about 10 bars.

[0050] In some examples, the planar element 550 can be a flexible silicone polymeric material, such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a hard polymeric material, such as fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) or ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a glass plate, a metal plate, or combinations thereof.

[0051] The liquid dispenser 530 can be a spray type nozzle, an inkjet type nozzle, a plurality of such elements, or a combination of such elements. [0052] Fig. 6 depicts a planarization process according to an example use in the fabrication of a multi-layer RDL structure. Metal features 610 are formed on the chip substrate 600. A photopatternable dielectric material 630 is applied on the substrate 600. A planar mold 650 is pressed into the photopatternable dielectric material 630 while the substrate 600 is under vacuum. The vacuum or low pressure conditions promote void elimination from the photopatternable dielectric material 630, as depicted.

[0053] In a subsequent step, a portion of photopatternable dielectric material 630 is removed in a photolithographic process. The planarization process with mechanical planarization enables high-aspect ratio metal pillar patterning. In a conventional RDL fabrication process, the non-planar surface of the photopatternable dielectric material 630 above the metal features 610, such as in the device state depicted in Fig. 6 prior to mechanical pressing, complicates the photolithographic processing, due to, for example, depth of focus limits of the photolithographic tool.

[0054] Fig. 7 depicts a planarization process according to an example for the formation of via-on-via stacked structures in a multi-layer RDL structure. The planarization process previously described in conjunction with Fig. 6 is repeated to form additional RDL layers. Due to the improved planarity of the photopatternable dielectric material 630, the photolithographic process for the higher RDL layers can be performed with greater layer-to-layer alignment accuracy, permitting the formation of stacked via structures 710.

[0055] Fig. 8 depicts a planarization method according to fifth example. In this example, several die 100 are disposed on a carrier substrate 800 at a distance d1. The carrier substrate 800 may be a frame element. In this case, an adhesion layer (not specifically depicted in drawing) would be required to attach the die 100 to the carrier substrate 800. The frame element can be, for example, a glass substrate with blind square cavities into which die 100 can be placed. As depicted, there is a trench region 220 between the adjacent die 100. A dry patterned film 850 is positioned in the trench region 220. The dry patterned film 850 may be positioned in the trench region 220 by a handling system (shown in Fig. 9 and Fig. 10) further described herein. The dry patterned film 850 may be positioned in the trench region 220 by disposing the dry patterned film 850 on the cover element 250 such that dry patterned film 850 is aligned within the trench region 220. The cover element 250 is applied to the surface of the substrate 800 on the die 100 side to position the dry patterned film 850 in the trench region 220.

[0056] The dry patterned film 850 includes material that when exposed to a temperature of about 90 °C to about 100 °C is flowable. After the dry patterned film 850 is positioned in the trench region 220, the dry patterned film 850 is pressured and heated. A substrate support (shown in Fig. 9 and Fig. 10) may be heated to expose the dry patterned film 850 to form a flowable material 852 as the cover element 250 is applied to the surface of the substrate 800 on the die 100 side to planarize the flowable material 852. Pressure, heating, and/or UV radiation is applied to cure/harden the flowable material 852 while the cover element 250 is positioned on the substrate 800. The flowable material 852 forms a solid material 854 in the trench region 220. A step height, the height from one of the die 100 to a top surface of the solid material 854, is about 0.1 micron to 1 micron, such as 0.3 micron. In a particular example, the dry patterned film 850 is composed of an epoxy material with silica fillers. Laser ablation is applied to pattern the blanket dry-film sheet.

[0057] Fig. 9 depicts a planarization apparatus 900. The planarization apparatus includes a substrate support 910 on which a substrate 920 can be placed. The substrate support 910 may be a vacuum chuck or the like for supporting the substrate 920 during various processing steps. A handling system 960 can be included to place and remove the substrate 920 from the substrate support 910. The handling system 960 can also be included to position the dry patterned film 850 in the trench region 220.

[0058] The handling system 960 in some examples may include a robotic arm or other mechanical apparatus for moving substrate 920 to the substrate support 910. In some examples, the handling system 960 may include load locks or the like. The substrate support 910 is inside a chamber 970 or otherwise is moveable so as to be located within the chamber 970 during some operating states. [0059] In some examples, the chamber 970 (or portions thereof) may be controllable to have an internal pressure other than atmospheric, for example, vacuum conditions. Similarly, the chamber 970 (or portions thereof) may be operated with other than standard air compositions, for example, low oxygen, pure nitrogen, or argon atmospheres may be provided inside the chamber 970.

[0060] A liquid dispensing system 935 of the planarization apparatus includes a dispensing point 930. The liquid dispensing system 935 stores materials such as polymeric material 240, polymeric material 340, planarization material 440, polymeric material 540, or the like. The liquid stored in the liquid dispensing system 935 can be referred to as a planarizing layer precursor material 940.

[0061] The dispensing point 930 is an inkjet nozzle, an inkjet head including a plurality of inkjet nozzles, a spray-type nozzle, a spray head including a plurality of spray-type nozzles, or, in general, any device or port from which liquid from the liquid dispensing system 935 can be dispensed into the chamber 970. The dispensing point 930 can be, for example, a liquid dispensing head, a liquid droplet ejector, a spray nozzle, or a plurality of these components or a combination of these components. The dispensing point 930 may be moveable within the chamber 970 so that liquid can be dispensed to particular portions of the substrate 920. For example, the liquid dispensing system 935 may include mechanisms for moving the dispensing point 930 in an X-Y coordinate system corresponding to the upper surface plane of the substrate 920.

[0062] In addition to or instead of mechanisms for moving the dispensing point 930 relative to the substrate 920, the substrate support 910 can include or be attached to mechanisms for moving the substrate 920 relative to the dispensing point 930. The substrate support 910 may also include rotational mechanisms permitting the substrate 920 to be rotated. In some examples, the rotational mechanisms of substrate support 910 may permit spin coating type processing at speeds of several hundred to several thousand RPM.

[0063] The substrate support 910 and/or the chamber 970 may be capable of heating the substrate 920 for the purpose of at least one of baking, curing, and/or hardening the planarizing layer precursor material 940, exposing the dry patterned film 850 to a temperature of about 90 °C to about 100 °C to form the flowable material 852, and baking, curing, and/or hardening the flowable material 852. Optionally, the planarization apparatus 900 may include an exposure system 980 for at least one of supplying light to the substrate 920 for curing/hardening one of the planarizing layer precursor material 940, exposing the dry patterned film 850 to a temperature of about 90 °C to about 100 °C to form the flowable material 852, and curing/hardening of the flowable material 852. The planarization apparatus 900 may be connected to, or an integrated portion of, a substrate processing track system, a cluster-type processing apparatus, or a multifunctional substrate processing apparatus.

[0064] The exposure system 980 may comprise various elements such as mirrors, lenses, liquid light guides, filters, or the like necessary to provide light to the substrate 920. The exposure system 980 may include or be attached to a light source, such as UV lamp, IR heating lamp, or the like. The exposure system 980 may be moveable within the chamber 970. In some examples, the chamber 970 may incorporate a window portion permitting the exposure system 980 to supply light from outside to a sealed chamber 970. In some examples, the exposure system 980 may be optional and hardening of the planarization liquid can be provided by heating, such as by chamber 970 or substrate support 910. The hardening system in planarization apparatus 900 can be considered to correspond to at least one of a heating element of the chamber 970, a heating element in the substrate support 910, and the exposure system 980. For example, the heating element in the substrate support 910 would heat the substrate 920 to expose the dry patterned film 850 to a temperature of about 90 °C to about 100 °C to form the flowable material 852, and cure/harden the flowable material 852.

[0065] Fig. 10 depicts a planarization apparatus 1000. In general, planarization apparatus 1000 is similar to planarization apparatus 900 described above except for the addition of planar element system 1010. Common elements between the two examples are given the same reference numerals in the figures. The planar element system 1010 includes a planar element support 1015 for holding planar element 1020. Planar element 1020 is a flat mold element, un-patterned mold element, a flat plate element, or the like. [0066] In general, the planar element 1020 corresponds in structure and function to cover element 250 and/or the planar element 550 as described in the above examples. The planar element system 1010 includes mechanisms for placing the planar element 1020 to be in contact with the substrate 920. The planar element system 1010 presses the planar element 1020 into the substrate 920 at a controllable pressure level.

[0067] The liquid dispensing system 935 and the exposure system 980 are depicted in Fig. 10 in partially stowed positions, such that movements of planar element system 1010 and/or substrate support 910 will not be hampered. However, in some examples, the chamber 970 may divided or provided in separate portions such that liquid dispensing can be conducted in one portion of the chamber 970 and press planarization can be conducted in another portion of the chamber 970. The substrate support 910 may move (or be moved) between the different portions or divisions of the chamber 970. Similarly, in some examples, the liquid dispensing system 935 may be omitted from the planarization apparatus 1000 entirely and liquid dispensing may be performed in a planarization apparatus 900 particularly connected to or otherwise associated with the planarization apparatus 1000. Likewise, exposure by exposure system 980, when provided, may be performed in a different portion or division of the chamber 970.

[0068] The planar element system 1010 may also provide transparent or transmissive portions permitting photo-curing or photo-hardening one of the planarizing layer precursor material 940 and the flowable material 852 through the planar element 1020 or otherwise.

[0069] The planar element system 1010 may include heating elements for heating the planar element 1020 before or during the pressing into the substrate. The planar element system 1010 may incorporate X-Y movement mechanisms for positioning the planar element 1020 relative to the substrate 920. Theta (Q), planar tilt, or other movement controls may also be provided in the planar element system 1010.

[0070] Pressing between the substrate 920 and the planar element 1020 may be achieved by Z-direction movements provided by either or both of the planar element system 1010 or the substrate support 910. In some instances, the pressing may be applied by provision of increased gas pressure supplied to a back side of the planar element 1020 and/or the substrate 920. The planar element 1020 may be of substantially the same planar area dimension as the substrate 920 such that the entirety of substrate 920 is planarized at the same time. Alternatively, the planar element 1020 may have less than the planar area dimension of the substrate 920 such that only a portion of the substrate 920 is planarized at one time. In some examples, the planar element 1020 may be larger in a planar area dimension than the substrate 920, such that a portion of the planar element 1020 overhangs the outermost edge of the substrate 920 during pressing.

[0071] The dry patterned film 850 may be disposed on the planar element 1020 by the handling system 960 such that dry patterned film 850 is aligned with the trench region 220. The planar element system 1010 presses the planar element 1020 into the substrate 920 at a controllable pressure level to position the dry patterned film 850 in the trench region 220.

[0072] In general, for the purpose of at least one of baking, curing, and hardening the planarizing layer precursor material 940, exposing the dry patterned film 850 to form the flowable material 852, and at least one of baking, curing, and hardening the flowable material 852 may be carried out by heating provided by any one of chamber 970, substrate support 910, or planar element system 1010, or these aspects in combination. In some examples in which one of the planarizing layer precursor material 940 and the flowable material 852 can be cured with light, the exposure system 980 can be used for hardening. The hardening system in planarization apparatus 1000 can be considered to correspond to at least one of a heating element of the chamber 970, a heating element in the substrate support 910, a heating element and/or a light curing source in the planar element system 1010, and the exposure system 980.

[0073] While the foregoing is directed to particular embodiments of the present disclosure, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of principles and applications. It is therefore to be understood that various modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments to provide other embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure, as represented by the appended claims.