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RF performance of In-coated CNT flexible interconnects
Keywords: Carbon nanotube, Flexible interconnects, RF performance
Carbon nanotube (CNT), often viewed as one of the most promising nanomaterial ever discovered, has been researched in depth since its discovery. Due to its proposed and demonstrated mechanical and electrical properties, it is a potential candidates for interconnects, transmission lines and contact structures. This work explores a method to construct metal-coated CNT interconnect. It RF performance is evaluated. In this work, using a Dimatix 2831 inkjet material deposition system, silver lines are printed as the transmission lines, upon which CNTs is deposited using the same system. The silver ink used in this work is bought from Sigma-Aldrich. CNT ink is prepared by ultrasonicating CNT and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in water. Centrifugation and decanting is done to eliminate big CNT aggregate and form a well dispersed CNT colloid suitable for inkjet printing. Centrifugation and decanting are performed for 3 times at 6500rpm. As deposited CNTs can be treated with methanol to wash away surfactant (in this case, SDS) and enhance their conductivity. Indium plating is done at a slow printing rate using a commercialized indium plating solution. The main goals of this interconnection scheme are to enhance the electrical conductivity between chip-board or chip-chip, while providing a flexible and reworkable interconnect structure. The concept is that when pushed together, indium-coated CNT films can deform and allow good interconnection between layers, while maintaining performance after multiple connect & disconnect cycles. Indium, as an example of metallization, coats onto an ink-jet printed CNT film to “fill-in” the CNT mesh, in order to provide an enhanced conductivity and help to mechanically stabilize the contact structure. A coplanar waveguide with interconnects are fabricated for RF performance testing. 5 mil Kapton film is used as substrate. Silver lines (2.5um in thickness) are printed at a spacing of 50 um. Ongoing research includes test and measurement of fabricated structure.
Pingye Xu, Ph.D. candidate
Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama (AL)

  • Amkor
  • ASE
  • Canon
  • Corning
  • EMD Performance Materials
  • Honeywell
  • Indium
  • Kester
  • Kyocera America
  • Master Bond
  • Micro Systems Technologies
  • MRSI
  • Palomar
  • Promex
  • Qualcomm
  • Quik-Pak
  • Raytheon
  • Specialty Coating Systems
  • Technic