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Reliability of Indium Attach in Low Temperature Packaging for Space Applications
Keywords: reliability, indium, attach
Future manned and unmanned exploration missions to the moon, Mars, and the outer planets require the development of distributed systems to monitor the health and performance of a space craft or rover, to sense the environment for scientific exploration and to act on the environment, for example to use a drill to obtain a soil sample for analysis. Such distributed systems will be made up of sensor/actuator networks consisting of intelligent nodes. Since the nodes are distributed over the vehicle, they can not be located in protective boxes. Thus the node must operate reliably in an ambient environment, which, for many missions, will include extreme cold temperatures. For example, a mission to the moon for one earth month or more, requires operation over a range from -180C during the lunar night to 120C during the lunar day. Silicon germanium HBTs have been shown to have excellent performance over this temperature range. However, it is also necessary to design and fabricate single and multichip packaging structures for these devices that can operate reliably in very cold temperature environments. This presentation will discuss ongoing research to determine the durability of packaging technologies used to fabricate nodes for operation at cold temperatures. In particular, the presentation will focus on stress analysis and reliability assessment of indium used to attach devices to SiN and AlSi substrates. The physics-of-failure approach pioneered at the CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center (EPSC) will be used to identify the dominant failure mechanisms in the indium attach and to model its fatigue life.
Patrick McCluskey, Associate Professor
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
USA


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