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A Low Firing Temperature Copper Conductor for use on an Aluminum Metal Compatible Dielectric in LED Thermal Substrate Applications
Keywords: MCPCB, Thermal Substrate , Nitrogen atmosphere
Abstract One of the most important contributing factors in the long life of LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) is keeping them cool, i.e., lowering the junction temperature, which can get as high as 150C. One way to accomplish this when building a circuit containing many LED packages is to use a thermal substrate. The majority of High Power/High Brightness (HP/HB) LED thermal circuits manufactured today are based on Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) technology. The MCPCB system consists of a copper foil, polymer dielectric layer and either an aluminum or copper base layer that are laminated together. The process of making MCPCB is a subtractive process, where most of the copper foil is removed. The copper foil is etched to create a circuit layer, the polymer dielectric provides the insulation between the copper foil and the metal base, and the aluminum or copper base provides thermal dissipation. The thick film copper paste discussed in this document is processed using an additive process, like screening printing, where the copper conductor is deposited only in the chosen area. The copper thick film paste is screen printed to create a circuit design on top of a thick film dielectric (insulated area) layer which is also printed on a metal base layer. The selective deposition allows for less material usage, and potentially lower overall cost as well as improved thermal performance with inclusion of thermal vias. This paper discusses the results of a newly developed lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) free low firing temperature (580-600C) copper thick film conductor paste on top of a low temperature firing dielectric paste. This study includes evaluations based on SEM photos, solderability, leach resistance, and initial and long term adhesions using SAC 305 solder and RMA flux. There are many different applications for HP/HB LED circuits, from general lighting to street lighting to automotive lighting and more. All of them have varying degrees of performance testing requirement. To try to cover as much of the reliability testing as possible we have included tests such as thermal aging (150 ˚C), thermal cycling at -55+150 ˚C, as well as 85C/85% RH reliability testing under bias. Key words: MCPCB, Thick film, Thermal Substrate Lead free solder, Copper Conductor, Nitrogen atmosphere
Samson Shahbazi, Sr. Research Scientist
Heraeus Precious Metals North America Conshohocken LLC
West Conshohocken, PA

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