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Silver pastes with adjusted glass composition for warpage-free LTCC
Keywords: Silver metallization, LTCC, Sintering
The LTCC technology provides plenty design possibilities to integrate active and passive components into complex shaped 3D architectures by wiring on plain substrates. For this reason LTCC have become a main processing route for robust and highly integrated chip carriers, sensors and controller circuits. A main limitation in LTCC processing is the well known substrate warping effect induced by silver metallization. It is strongly dependent on the specific LTCC composition and silver paste in use but occurs frequently in case of unconstrained sintering of silver metallized LTCC substrates. Single and multilayer LTCC show undesired deformation which is deteriorating the indented geometry. In order to avoid this deformation, LTCC manufacturers apply constrained sintering technology either by use of sacrificial tapes or by pressure assisted sintering which is time and cost expensive. IKTS developed silver pastes which suppress the warpage mechanisms observed described by several authors [1, 2]. First, a systematic study was made by varying the chemical composition and amount of the pastes glass. Silver diffusion was detected and evaluated by SEM and EDX on polished cross sections of gradually sintered samples. Sinter shrinkage was characterized by vertical dilatometry. Based on the results, the pastes glass composition and amount was specifically adapted and adjusted to an IKTS LTCC which is anodic bondable [3]. The LTCC can now be equipped with inner silver layers, top layers and via metallization without showing any warpage after free sintering on air. Furthermore, it is to expect that the findings enable to adjust the silver pastes for other LTCC compositions as well.
Markus Eberstein, Gruopmanager
Fraunhofer IKTS
Dresden, Saxony

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