Die-Attach Materials for Extreme Conditions and Harsh Environments
Various industries drive the requirements for microelectronics and sensor packaging solutions development. A variety of challenging operating environment scenarios can be found in the following industries: oil and gas, aviation, geothermal drilling and subsurface monitoring, automotive, electrical power systems, combustion engine, nuclear power plant, foundries, glass plants, aluminum and steel mills, cement plant kiln, and aerospace. For all phases of packaging technology development, adopted solutions must remain economical and provide the required manufacturability, durability, and reliability that survive a diverse selection of mission profile scenarios.
In recent years, the energy sector has experienced dynamic growth in the development and global deployment of more advanced and complex oil and gas recovery methods in new production areas. Applications of these methods can result in very long service periods, spanning 5–20 years of operation and in harsh environments, with equipment exposed to challenging environmental conditions with high temperature, shock, and vibration. For downhole reservoir well construction and production equipment, it is paramount to maximize efficiencies and safety throughout the lifetime and economic lifecycle of oil and gas reservoirs. Downhole operating well temperatures are gradually increasing past 175 °C, requiring equipment operational capability for temperatures of 200 °C and above. Equipment must be rugged, robust, resilient, reliable, durable, and increasingly miniaturized. The area of power electronics and mechatronics is a critical part of the downhole equipment tools and geothermal and aerospace exploration equipment. Die-attach materials and technology are essential components for microelectronic packaging manufacturing success in harsh environments.
Die-attach materials and technology were developed and evaluated with reliability and durability tests for high-temperature electronics use in 200 °C, 300 °C, and 500 °C applications. Types of solders for high-temperature applications were evaluated, including transient liquid-phase bonding for extreme environments. The most commonly used materials were also compared. Polymer-based attachment materials were reviewed in the categories of conductive adhesive, non-conductive adhesive, cyanate ester, and Ag-glass material. Further system integration using more compact and miniaturized microelectronic equipment modules requires research and development in novel 3D packaging methods and technologies. Challenges in the 3D packaging frontier are briefly mentioned at the end of the chapter.
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