STTR Phase I: Low Temperature, Lead-Free Nanosolder for Microelectronics

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0712325
Award Id:
84937
Agency Tracking Number:
0712325
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
1275 KINNEAR RD, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, COLUMBUS, OH, 43212
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
112225011
Principal Investigator:
Suvankar Sengupta
Dr
(614) 340-1690
ssengupta@aol.com
Business Contact:
Richard Schorr
PhD
(614) 340-1690
jrschorr@metamateria.com
Research Institution:
Purdue Univ
Carol A Handwerker
302 Wood St
West Lafayette, IN, 47907 2108
(765) 494-0147
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Project is to develop a nanomaterials approach for a low temperature lead-free solder technology for heat-sensitive microelectronic, nanoelectronic and MEMS device that is based on the depression of the bulk melting temperature exhibited by sub-10nm particles. Preliminary results have shown a depression of up to 30ýýýýC. With these alloy nanoparticles combined into a paste using organic liquids and a flux that suppresses nanoparticle oxidation as the paste is heated, the paste can be applied to form an interconnect with existing microelectronics assembly processes.The elimination of Sn-Pb solder in electronics enacted by the European Union has led to widespread industry adoption of Pb-free solders with significantly higher melting temperatures than the Sn-Pb eutectic alloy they replaced. Heat sensitive components, such as sensors, system-in-package, and MEMS devices, were barely surviving the 183ýýýýC eutectic temperature of Sn-Pb. With the introduction of Pb-free alloys that melt more than 30ýýýýC higher, significant damage can be done to critical electronic and MEMS components under standard assembly conditions. The key feature of the new technology is the use of solder alloy nanoparticles of approximately 5-10nm in diameter to create a material with a melting point of approximately 185ýýýýC, some 30ýýýý lower than the bulk melting point. With these alloy nanoparticles combined into a paste using organic liquids and a flux that suppresses nanoparticle oxidation as the paste is heated, the paste can be applied to form an interconnect with existing microelectronics assembly processes. The solder alloy nanoparticles melt at a lower temperature than their bulk powder counterparts. The nanoparticles will then coalesce and, as they are cooled, will solidify. An important feature of the technology is that once the solder joints are solidified, because of their large size, their melting temperature will be the bulk melting temperature. This new technology therefore allows for step soldering in which heat-sensitive components may be attached sequentially without damaging components with subsequent soldering steps.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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