(Received April 23, 2004; revised June 25, 2004; accepted June 28, 2004; published July 23, 2004)
In the present study, in order to protect the integrated circuit (IC) patterns from the impact due to a dicing saw blade, the pattern layers on the scribe regions of a semiconductor wafer are selectively removed and so, their bare silicon surfaces are exposed therein. The scribe regions (where the layers are absent) are then replaced by polyimide prior to the wafer dicing process. Since the polyimide film has a considerably larger adhesion strength with the silicon surface than other pattern layers or plastic-encapsulants have, it effectively accommodates the impact of the saw blade. According to the experimental results, the IC devices having discontinuous layers on the scribe regions exhibit excellent thermal cycling reliability, regardless of dicing process conditions.