NEPCON West - Fiberoptic Expo Conference Proceedings


ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE SILICONE ADHESIVE

Author: Luis C. Montemayor
Company: Dow Corning Corporation
Date Published: 12/3/2002   Conference: NEPCON West - Fiberoptic Expo


Abstract: As microelectronic assemblies get more complex there is an increased need for flexibility of design. Traditional systems are based upon attaching electronic components, e.g. capacitors, resistors, etc., to complete circuits, primarily by a solder based process (molten Sn/Pb alloy). Furthermore, the application of solder has become increasingly difficult in electronics due to the decreasing size and operational space of circuit boards.

Due to component heat sensitivity, substrate flexibility, mismatched coefficients of thermal expansion, proposed legislative ban on lead, processing advantages and other design considerations, alternative approaches to component attach are needed. One approach that is gaining in importance is use of an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA) to "stick" the components onto a substrate, in effect, replacing the solder.

Since the applications are essentially replacing the conductivity and strength of a metal with an adhesive, properties are expected to remain relatively unchanged under environmental stress, e.g. thermal cycling and exposure to heat and humidity. It is here where silicones propose the best option. The advantages of the electrically conductive silicone adhesives include flexibility, low temperature processability, easier assembly, and their being environmentally benign.



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