Year of Publication


Document Type





Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Janet K. Lumpp


Lead-tin solder has been widely used as interconnection material in electronics packaging for a long time. In response to environmental legislation, the lead-tin alloys are being replaced with lead-free alloys and electrically conductive adhesives in consumer electronics. Lead-free solder usually require higher reflow temperatures than the traditional lead-tin alloys, which can cause die crack and board warpage in assembly process, thereby impacting the assembly yields. The high tin content in lead-free solder forms tin whiskers, which has the potential to cause short circuits failure. Conductive adhesives are an alternative to solder reflow processing, however, conductive adhesives require up to 80 wt% metal filler to ensure electrical and thermal conductivity. The high loading content degrades the mechanical properties of the polymer matrix and reduces the reliability and assembly yields when compared to soldered assemblies. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have ultra high aspect ratio as well as many novel properties. The high aspect ratio of CNTs makes them easy to form percolation at low loading and together with other novel properties make it possible to provide electrical and thermal conductivity for the polymer matrix while maintaining or even reinforcing the mechanical properties. Replacing the metal particles with CNTs in conductive adhesive compositions has the potential benefits of being lead free, low process temperature, corrosion resistant, electrically/thermally conductive, high mechanical strength and lightweight. In this paper, multiwall nanotubes (MWNTs) with different dimensions are mixed with epoxy. The relationships among MWNTs dimension, volume resistivity and thermal conductivity of the composite are characterized. Different loadings of CNTs, additives and mixing methods were used to achieve satisfying electrical and mechanical properties and pot life. Different assembly technologies such as pressure dispensing, screen and stencil printing are used to simplify the processing method and raise the assembly yields. Contact resistance, volume resistivity, high frequency performance, thermal conductivity and mechanical properties were measured and compared with metal filled conductive adhesive and traditional solder paste.