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Thick Print Copper and Silver Conductors for Power Circuit Applications
Keywords: power electronics, thick film, thermal management
Electronic circuits made by thick film technology are commonly used today in many demanding applications, including military, aerospace, energy, medical, and automotive markets. Within these markets the need for efficient power devices, such as motor controls, power converters and power modules continues to grow. Thick film metallized substrates are able to offer technical and commercial advantages over other circuit technologies with regards to thermal cycling, thermal conductivity, and versatile circuit design capabilities in power circuits. For power circuit applications a new line of copper (Cu) and silver (Ag) thick film conductors have been developed that provide up to 300 µm fire conductor thickness, with excellent thermal, electrical, wire bonding and soldering properties. The products are compatible with both standard 96% alumina (Al2O3) and aluminium nitride (AlN) substrates. Using the versatility of an additive screen printing deposition process a single substrate can contain both thin printed, dense circuitry for signal processing and thick printed areas for power device mounting. Also, through-hole connections are possible with the materials for connecting either thermally or electrically both sides of a substrate. This paper describes a new set of thick film paste, both precious and base metal, which have attributes and performance suitable for power electronics. The materials provide a means to use common thick film technology to build power circuits to meet the new needs, such as high thermal mechanical performance and thermal dissipation. The features of the materials, processing, and performance will be characterized and discussed.
Mark Challingsworth, Technology Manager
Heraeus Precious Metals North America Conshohocken, LLC
W. Conshohocken, PA

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