Development of Conductive Adhesives for Solder Replacement
Wong, C. P.
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With the phasing out of lead-bearing solders, electrically conductive adhesives (ECAs) have been identified as an environmentally friendly alternative to tin/lead (Sn/Pb) solders in electronics packaging applications. Compared to Sn/Pb solders, conductive adhesive technology offers numerous advantages. However, this new technology still has reliability limitations. Two critical limitations are unstable contact resistance on non- noble metals and poor impact performance. Our previous study proved that galvanic corrosion is the dominant mechanism for the unstable contact resistance during elevated temperature and humidity aging. The ultimate goal of this study is to develop conductive adhesives with stable contact resistance and desirable impact performance. In this study, effects of purity of the resins and moisture absorption on contact resistance are investigated. Several different additives (oxygen scavengers and corrosion inhibitors) on contact resistance stability during elevated temperature and humidity aging are studied, and effective additives are identified based on this study. Then, several rubber-modified epoxy resins and two synthesized epoxide-terminated polyurethane resins are introduced into ECA formulations to determine their effects on impact strength. The loss factor, tan , of each formulation is measured using a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) and impact strength is evaluated using the National Center for Manufacturing Science (NCMS) standard drop test procedure. Finally, high performance conductive adhesives are formulated by combining the modified resins and the effective additives. It is found that 1) purity of the resins and moisture absorption of the formulation affect the contact resistance stability of an ECA; 2) the oxygen scavengers and corrosion inhibitors can delay contact resistance shift; 3) one of the corrosion inhibitors is very effective in stabilizing the contact resistance; 4) some rubbermodified epoxy resins and the epoxide-terminated polyurethane resins can provide the conductive adhesives with superior impact performance; and 5) conductive adhesives with stable contact resistance and desirable impact performance are developed.