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Thick Film Solutions to HOT Problems in Electronics
Keywords: Thermal Management, LED, Thick Film
When it comes to light emitting diode (LED) technology, thermal management is typically one of the top issues in regards to reliability concerns over the modules lifetime. An LED’s output is roughly 15-20% light, while the remaining 80-85% is solely heat generation. Unlike an incandescent light, this heat must be removed by conduction through the fixture, not radiated through the lens. For every 10C increase in an LED’s junction temperature, the life time and lumens flux typically decreases by roughly half. To combat these thermal management issues, thick film materials can be used to provide reliable circuitry on substrates with high thermal conductivities like Aluminum Nitride, Beryllium Oxide, and aluminum metal. These thick film materials have proven to be robust and reliable for LED circuits while providing decreased thermal resistance and streamlined processing. This presentation will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of thick film LED substrate solutions, including traditional thick film techniques and unique thick film materials on aluminum metal substrates. The paper will include not only technical attributes but also processing and cost comparisons. There are many ways to deal with the issues regarding thermal management of LED’s, but thick film materials are quickly taking a front seat to managing these HOT issues.
Catherine Munoz, Engineer
Heraeus Electronics
West Conshohocken, PA

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