Ultrasonic Wedge Bonding or US Bonding is used for bonding gold or aluminum wire. For power applications, copper wire can also be used. There are three different kinds of wire bonding: Thin wire bonding or just wire bonding with wires from 17 µm up to 75 µm. Heavy wire bonding with wires from 100 µm up to 500 µm. And ribbon bonding with flat-band ribbons of different sizes.
Thermosonic Ball Wedge Bonding or TS Bonding uses a combination of heat, pressure, and ultrasonic energy to create a weld between a gold, copper or silver ball and the surface of a chip. A gold, copper or silver wire is threaded through a capillary made from ultra-fine ceramics on which tip a high-voltage electric charge is applied to the wire. This melts the wire into a ball, called flame off. With pressure (bond force) and ultrasonic energy the capillary connects this ball now to the surface of the substrate. After that a loop is formed and a second bond applied in the form of a wedge bond, also called stitch bond.
Bump bonding is used for flip-chip applications: mounting a chip up-side-down directly onto a substrate or second chip. No additional wire is used, and the contact is established solely by beforehand applied bumps. This method is very compact and low in inductance, due to the short conductor lengths. Furthermore, it is possible to stack multiple chips on top of each other.
To prepare an application for mass production or dealing with unusual applications, it may be necessary to switch from the more common materials gold and aluminum to copper. There are a few peculiarities to be aware of, but the advantages are a cheaper wire price, better electrical conductivity and better thermal conductivity.
When bonding with copper wire, the copper has to be protected from oxidation by using a special antioxidation gas. This complicates the work process. An alternative is bonding copper wire with aluminum coating. It can be easily wedge bonded and is well storable.