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High Performance Etchable RoHS Compliant Thick Film Gold Conductor
Keywords: Thick Film, Gold Conductor, Etchable
The thick film paste manufacturers are expected to produce conductors which are lead and cadmium free, yet have excellent fired film properties and the same performance and properties as the cadmium and lead containing formulations. The fired film surface of these conductors must be defect free (i.e. defects, pills, agglomerates) after multiple firing steps and must perform on dielectric as well as substrates from different suppliers. Typically the thick film gold conductors are used in high reliability applications such as medical devices, military applications, and high frequency circuits. As the circuits decrease in size and become more complex, the thick film gold properties become increasingly critical. The challenge is to develop a robust gold conductor formulation which can be used as is or to have the ability to be etched for even smaller circuit design with good performance after multiple firings. Heraeus has been proactive for the past decade in the development of thick film products that are both lead and cadmium free and REACH compliant. This paper discusses the experiments that were performed in order to understand the contribution of gold powder, organic and inorganic system. These studies resulted in a newly developed thick film gold conductor paste for use in a wide variety of applications. We present wire bonding data with gold and aluminum wire and reliability results on both 96% Al2O3 and dielectric substrates.
Gregory Berube,
Heraeus Precious Metals North America
West Conshohocken, PA

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