Dielectric Nanocomposites for High Performance Embedded Capacitors in Organic Printed Circuit Boards
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Conventionally discrete passive components like capacitors, resistors, and inductors are surface-mounted on top of the printed circuit boards (PCBs). To match the ever increasing demands of miniaturization, cost reduction, and high performance in microelectronic industry, a promising approach is to integrate passive components into the board during PCB manufacture. Because they are embedded inside multilayer PCBs, such components are called embedded passives. This work focuses on the materials design, development and processing of polymer-based dielectric nanocomposites for embedded capacitor applications. The methodology of this approach is to combine the advantages of the polymer and the filler to satisfy the electric, dielectric, mechanical, fabrication, and reliability requirements for embedded capacitors. Restrained by poor adhesion and poor thermal stress reliability at high filler loadings, currently polymer-ceramic composites can only achieve a dielectric constant of less than 50. In order to increase the dielectric constant to above 50, effects of high-k polymer matrix, bimodal fillers, and dispersing agent are systematically investigated. Surface functionalization of nanofiller particles and modification of epoxy matrix with a secondary rubberized epoxy to form sea-island structure are proposed to enhance the dielectric constant, adhesion and high-temperature thermal stress reliability of high-k composites. To obtain photodefinable high-k composites, fundamental understanding of the photopolymerization of the novel epoxy-ceramic composite photoresist is addressed. While the properties of high-k composites largely depend on the polymer matrix, the fillers can also drastically affect the material properties. Carbon black- and carbon nanotubes-filled ultrahigh-k polymer composites are investigated as the candidate materials for embedded capacitors. Dielectric composites based on percolation typically show a high dielectric constant, and a high dielectric loss which is not desirable for high frequency applications. To achieve a reproducible low-loss percolative composite, a novel low-cost core-shell particle filled high-k percolative composite is developed. The nanoscale insulating shells allow the electrons in the metallic core to tunnel through it, and thereby the composites exhibit a high dielectric constant as a percolation system; on the other hand, the insulating oxide layer restricts the electron transfer between filler particles, thus leading to a low loss as in a polymer-ceramic system.