Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Janet K Lumpp

Abstract

Electrically conductive adhesives (ECA) are an alternative to tin/lead solders for attaching Surface Mount Devices (SMD) in electronic assemblies. ECAs are mixtures of a polymer binder (for adhesion) and conductive filler (for electrical conductivity). They bring more conductivity, higher strength, less weight and longer durability than metal alloys. ECAs can offer numerous advantages such as fewer processing steps, lower processing temperature and fine pitch capability. Multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were used as conductive fillers in this research because of their novel electronic and mechanical properties.

The high aspect ratio of the nanotubes makes it possible to percolate at low loadings to obtain good electrical and mechanical properties. Replacing the metal filler with CNTs in the adhesive made the ECA light weight, corrosion resistant, reduced processing temperature, lead free, electrically conductive and high mechanical strength. The MWCNTs at different loadings were mixed with epoxy and epoxy: heloxy to form a composite mixture. Different loadings, additives and mixing methods were used to obtain good electrical and mechanical properties and pot life. Pressure dispensing, screen and stencil printing were the processing techniques used for making the samples. The volume resistivity, contact resistance, die shear and lap shear tests were conducted on different surface finished Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) like silver, tin and Electro less Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG). The results are summarized and compared with traditional methods.

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