The continued desire to utilize an alternative to lead-based solder materials for electrical interconnections has led to significant research interest in Anisotropic Conductive Adhesives (ACAs). The use of ACAs in electrical connections creates bonds using a combination of metal particles and epoxies to replace solder. The novel ACA discussed in this paper allows for bonds to be created through aligning columns of conductive particles along the Z-axis. These columns are formed by the application of a magnetic field, during the curing process. The benefit of this novel ACA is that it does not require precise printing of the adhesive on pads and also enables the mass curing without creating shorts in the circuitry.

This paper will present the findings of the thermal conductivity performance tests using the novel ACA and its applicability as a thermal interface material and for assembling bottom termination components, power devices, etc. The columns that act as electrical conduction paths also contribute towards the thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of the novel ACA was measured utilizing a system that is similar to that in ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) D5470 standard. The goal was to examine the influence of Bond Line Thickness (BLT), particle loading densities, particle diameters and adhesive matrix curing conditions on the electrical and thermal performance of the novel ACA. This paper will also present a numerical model to describe the thermal behavior of the novel ACA.

The novel ACA’s applicability for PCB-level assembly has also been successfully demonstrated by RIT, including base material characterization, effect of process parameters, failures, and long-term reliability. Reliability testing included the investigation of the assembly performance in temperature and humidity aging, thermal aging, air-to-air thermal cycling, and drop testing.

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