Microcircuit manufacturers of Plastic Encapsulated Microcircuits (PEM’s) have made changes in epoxy molding compound materials and chemistry, which lower Glass Transition Temperature (Tg). PEM users in harsh environments have concerns if either the part in its application, or in evaluation or assembly, is used close to, or above, the Tg. Various Tg measurement techniques are available and discussed. Test results from one technique is reviewed. The implications of the Tg results on usage of these parts in space applications will be presented. Burn-in/ reliability test results of samples with low Tg PEM’s will be presented. The reliability experiments include testing under different temperatures. The issue being addressed is whether outgassing of molding compounds occurs when the temperature of the molding compound exceeds the Tg. This is a caution noted by many vendors. As an example outgassing of flame retardants can degrade parametric performance and wire bond integrity. This would be the case when PEMS are being qualified for Space applications using burn-in or in storage environments. JPL’s past experience has shown that COTS PEMS parametrics can degrade significantly even when the burn-in temperature is well below the Tg. Two different microcircuits exhibiting low Tg were evaluated. Assessment of final electrical test measurements and yield are shown.

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