Key Research Areas

Molecular Modelling

Molecular Modelling is a simulation method used to describe the interactions of materials at the atomic level. It is used in the Micro-Nano Reliability group to investigate the properties of epoxy resins (moulding compounds, adhesives, etc.) and their boundary layers (e.g. in contact with chip surfaces).

Micro-electronic components frequently fail due to delamination or due to fracture at the interface resulting from CTE mismatch.
In order to be able to estimate operating lives and to predict reliability it is important to understand the physics of failure. Molecular modelling can be used to visualise features and processes which can only be accessed with great difficulty experimentally.  In this way, together with complementary experimental characterisation, the following can be investigated:

  • Curing of epoxy resins
  • Thermal expansion of epoxy resins
  • Glass transition of epoxy resins
  • Thermodynamic interactions at epoxide / SiO2 interfaces
  • Transport of moisture at interfaces