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NanoWelds:First nanotechnology for the electronic industry based on a room-temperature welding process

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NanoWelds (NanoWelds:First nanotechnology for the electronic industry based on a room-temperature welding process)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2021-04-30

NANOWELDS is a patented novel technology developed by NANOWIRED GMBH for joining microelectronics parts.
NANOWELDS is the only room-temperature bond with great electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, including high flexibility, that enables the joining and contacting of electronic components at room temperature. The result is a permanently solid, strong, flexible and highly conductive connection. The concept works in a similar way to Velcro, consisting of two steps:
1. NanoWiring (chemical process): our machine grows microscopical metallic filaments (nanowires) on the two surfaces, resulting in pieces coated with a metallic grass-like field.
2. KlettWelding (physical process): these nanowires are pressed at room temperature and become entangled, binding the two surfaces together with a conductive and strong union.
The objectives of the project are:
1. Increase material portfolio: optimize the galvanic process for Gold and Nickel, adding to existing Copper process, during year 1 of Phase 2 (WP1).
2. Stabilize process and go from 1 sigma to 2 sigma and reduce NanoWiring time to 15 minutes (WP1).
3. Automate the currently manual NanoWiring prototype V2 by month 15 (WP2).
4. Develop a 10.000-level clean room industrial machine by year 2 of Phase 2 (WP4).
Technical work
Scale Up to 40x40cm² was successful. We run our machine with this large production area for our standard copper nanowiring process
Optimize Chemistry and deposition parameters. NanoWired carried out a statistical experimental design to speed up the deposition. We are able to carry out a 50 µm deposition in 50 min, a 15 µm deposition, which is sufficient for most applications in 15 min.
We developed the NanoWiring Process for Nickel, Gold, Zinc and Silver. For all of these Materials we developed electrolytes and evaluated different deposition processes. Beside copper, gold, nickel and silver are proven to be advantageous regarding electrical and thermal performance.
Reduction of process variation. The process variation is reduced by different ways: We optimized the copper chemistry and we optimized the deposition parameters. Additionally, we achieved a very low length variation of nanowires (< 1 % over complete deposition area) by optimizing the chemistry and deposition parameters. The KlettWelding variation is reduced by controlling the geometrical properties of the Nanowires and by improvement of the tools. By applying sealants, we succeed in decreasing the KlettWelding force down to 1 MPa. We tested KlettWelding technology with 10 integration projects with potential customers leading to min. 3 subsequent serial production projects. By the end of the project the clean room level machine is completed, which enables a complete automatic operation. It will be presented to a wide audience at the SEMICON Fair in Taiwan in September 2021.
Dissemination and commercialisation work
We participated in the Hannover Fair in April 2019. There we won the Hermes Award, the most important industrial prize in Germany.
We participated in the SMT Hybrid Fair in Nuremberg in May 2019 and 2020, a very important electronic assembly fair
We participated in the Productronica Fair in Munich in November 2017 and 2019, a very important electronic fair
We participated in 2 conferences in 2020, the NMJ in Leipzig and the IMPACT-EMAP in Taiwan. Both Conferences were online events. We won the “Best Paper Award” at the IMPACT-EMAP Conference
We were a finalist of the “Falling-Walls” – Venture Competition in 2020.
We were accepted at another conference, the ECTC, which is held in June 2021. All potential customers from semiconductor industry will attend this conference.
In April 2021 project a complete NanoWiring machine is ready. This machine implements all process and machine developments which were made during the project. 13 Companies have asked for offers to buy the machine and integrate it into their production lines. The machine is designed only to work with NanoWired consumables, especially the optimized Electrolyte developed within work package 1. The NanoWiring process fulfils now all demands regarding metals (Copper, Gold, Nickel, Silver), process speed (1 µm/min) and homogeneity (< 10% over whole area). The KlettWelding process fulfils all demands regarding low force (< 1 µm) and reliability (AQG324) and electrical and thermal performance. We succeed in integrating it in 10 different product species.
Prototype V3
nanowiring process