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Evaluation of a Novel Dielectric Material on Aluminum Substrates
Keywords: aluminum substrate, dielectric, thermal dissipation
The application of light emitting diodes (LEDs) continues to expand into many industries as an alternative to traditional sources such as incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Low operating costs, long lifetime, and high efficiency make LEDs an attractive replacement. The heat generated by the die coupled with the temperature sensitivity of the light output mandates the need for a heat sink. As LEDs expand to higher power applications, sufficient thermal dissipation becomes a greater challenge. Aluminum has very high thermal conductivity, and is a cheaper alternative to other heat sink materials such as alumina, aluminum nitride or copper. Since aluminum is electrically conductive, an insulating layer must be used to mount the LED. Due to aluminum’s high coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), the aluminum substrate may bow when an insulating layer of dielectric is applied. In order to overcome this difficulty, Heraeus has developed a lead-free dielectric thick film paste that minimizes bowing on aluminum, as well as having excellent breakdown voltage, water and acid resistance. This paper will focus on evaluating the performance of this paste on aluminum substrates, as well as the performance of the accompanying lead-free Ag conductor. Additionally, the effect of substrate preparation, aluminum alloy selection, and different processing steps will be presented.
Michael Creamer,
West Conshohocken, PA

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