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Institut für Struktur- und Funktionskeramik

Integration of Ceramic Components into Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

The new trends for miniaturisation and integration of functional components into Printed Circuit Boards are a challenge for the microelectronic companies to compete in the market. The understanding of the embedding process provides the design parameters and rules for production of more reliable boards.

The embedding of components (e.g. ceramic capacitors, silicon semiconductors) into the inner parts of the PCB saves space on the surface and also reduces the necessary length of interconnections (see Fig. 1). This can be used to increase the functionality of the system and thus convert it into a high tech system. The integration of components plays an important role in the ongoing trend to miniaturise electronic devices.

Integration of components saves space at surfaces, reduces the necessary length of interconnects and helps to miniaturise devices (the yellow space is saved by the new technique)

The description of the embedding process ( deformations and stresses during hot pressing of the components and cool down of the board) can provide the producer with design parameters and rules for production of more reliable boards (i.e. where all components survive the embedding process). The development of a Finite Element model to describe the embedding process and the determination of the strength of miniaturised embedding components have been the focus of this project (Fig. 2).


Figure 2. Left: FE model and simulation results of stress and deformation of the PCB with embedded components. Right: Testing methodology to determine the biaxial strength of brittle embedding components with special features (contacts). The onset of damage (crack) after mechanical loading is visible through FIB analysis.

The scientific achievement has been to clarify the damage mechanisms which can lead to failure of miniaturised brittle components during embedding. This has been realised combining both FE modelling and micro-analytical techniques (i.e. Focus Ion Beam, SEM). The development of testing methods to determine the mechanical properties of the embedding components on a length scale of about few millimetres has also been a challenge. From the technological viewpoint the generation of a parametric 2D FE model to describe the deformation and stresses in the board during embedding (i.e. pressing and cooling down) has helped the company partners (specially AT&S) on establishing the ECP technology.

The project has been carried out in close cooperation with the company AT&S (Leoben-Hinterberg) and the company THALES as well as with the Institut für Struktur- und Funktionskeramik in Leoben.

This new embedding technology has enormous potential to be applied in microelectronic systems where integration and miniaturisation can add value to the end product.


Relevant Publications

“Mechanical characterisation of miniaturised direct inkjet printed 3Y-TZP specimens for microelectronic applications” , Emre Özkol, Anja M Wätjen, Raúl Bermejo, Marco Deluca, Jörg Ebert Robert Danzer, Rainer Telle, J. Eur. Ceram Soc., 30 pp. 3145-3152 (2010).

“Strength and fracture analysis of silicon-based embedding components” , Marco Deluca, Raul Bermejo, Martin Pletz, Peter Supancic, Robert Danzer, J. Eur. Ceram Soc., 31 pp. 549-558 (2011).

“Influence of deposited metal structures on the failure mechanisms of semiconductor components”, M. Deluca, R. Bermejo, M. Pletz, M. Wießner, P. Supancic and R. Danzer, Acta Materialia (submitted on 07.2011)