Empa investigating innovative electronic joining technology

03 February 2023 09:13

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Dübendorf - Electronic components are constantly becoming smaller and more powerful. This presents new challenges in the area of joining technology. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) is carrying out research into innovative nanostructured joining materials for microelectronics.

Posited some decades ago by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors in microprocessors doubles roughly every two years. His prediction remains valid to this day. However, this ongoing process of miniaturization also poses new challenges for conventional joining technologies. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) is carrying out research into new materials and processes with the aim of developing connecting joints for high-performance electronic components, further details of which can be found in a press release.

The researchers are working with silver nanopastes, i.e. materials consisting of silver nanoparticles. With this process, which is known as nano-joining, highly electrically and thermally conductive joints can be produced at significantly lower temperatures. “Here, we are replacing a classic soldering process with a sintering process”, explains Empa researcher Bastian Rheingans.

The scientists are also researching nanopastes with several components and nanomultilayer systems consisting of copper, silver, silver-copper and aluminum-silicon. This allows the properties of the joint to be optimized. Another method is the use of reactive foils as a local heat source, which can completely replace the conventional soldering oven. eb

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