Plastics, Adhesives & Coatings Miniaturize Products

Posted on 7/16/2012 8:53:46 AM By Thryft, Ann R.

Healthcare, consumer electronics, and solar power are leading industries in the development of miniaturized designs, but the materials used in these designs have many limitations. Many miniaturized medical devices involve electronics, prompting greater use of plastics and changes in thermally conductive materials. The adhesives of medical electronics can aid in these devices' thermal designs. Master Bond's thermally conductive systems, which include elastomerics such as epoxies and silicones, vary by cure speed, viscosity, temperature resistance, and thermal conductivity. The company's EP21ANHT thermally conductive epoxy system was designed for packed components and tiny electronic circuits. EP21ANHT has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, a tensile shear strength greater than 1,000psi, and resists various chemicals and adheres to many different substrates. Companies have developed electrically conductive adhesives and pastes for electrical and adhesion stability, such as Henkel's ABLESTIK ICP-3535M1. These materials have quick, low-temperature curing, and no bleeding or wicking in miniaturized components. For electronic chips, 3M is partnering with IBM to develop new adhesives and processes to allow up to 100 chips to be stacked at the wafer level. Jim Ehle, 3M's marketing manager for electronic markets materials, said, "Our adhesive bonding process is fast and done at room temperature, because it's UV-cured. Usually before debonding, the wafer is put on a frame, and when you take it off, there's adhesive left on it, but our adhesive peels right off. That temporary bonding and debonding system has been a problem in the TSV market."

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