The variation of their crystallinity, in other words, the order of atom arrangement of grain boundaries in electroplated gold thin films was investigated by changing their manufacturing conditions. Then, the effect of the crystallinity on both their mechanical and electrical properties was measured by using nano-indentation test and electromigration test. The crystallinity of the gold thin films was varied by changing the under-layer material used for electroplating. Also, the micro texture of gold thin films was evaluated by EBSD (Electron Back-Scatter Diffraction) and XRD (X-Ray Diffraction). It was clarified that the crystallinity of the electroplated gold thin films changed drastically depending on the crystallinity of the under-layer materials and electroplating conditions such as current density and temperature. This variation of the crystallinity should have caused wide variation of mechanical properties of the films. In addition, their mechanical properties such as Young’s modulus and hardness showed wide variation by about 3 times comparing with those of bulk gold. Similarly, the EM resistance of the electroplated gold bumps varied drastically depending on the ratio of porous grain boundaries and their crystallinity. Both the ratio and crystallinity also varied depending on the crystallinity of the under layer and electroplating conditions. The effective lifetime of the gold bumps was successfully predicted by considering both the crystallinity and residual stress of fine gold bumps. The lifetime varied more than 10 times as a strong function of the crystallinity of grain boundaries in the fine bumps. Therefore, it is very important to control the crystallinity of the under-layer for electroplating in order to control the distribution of the mechanical properties and reliability of the electroplated gold thin films.

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