This project aims to satisfy the pressing industrial need for technologies to manufacture multi-chip microwave (<50GHz) modules at low cost (<50ECU/module) on rapid turn-round (<5days design-to-test). The technical objective is to develop materials and process technologies for making multi layer microwave substrates, containing improved solutions for the problems of thermal management and interconnects, together with a joining technology for attaching metal-to-ceramic giving large area, low thermal impedance, low void level joints. The development of a high integrity metallic joining methods allows the project to address two further industrial requirements, namely for power conditioning modules capable of dissipating up to 20W and advanced heaters that can operate up to 450ÐC with are sponsiveness exceeding 50ÐC/second. The technology will be based on a combination of low temperature co-fired ceramic, duplex metal-metal loid alloys, flip-chip interconnection and diffusion soldering, backed by appropriate electrical and thermo-mechanical modelling. The EU funded technology watch programme EUCLID and the US funded MIMIC programme both identified this combination of materials and processes the most likely to satisfy commercial requirements. Metallic joining methods, to replace conductive adhesives, are a pre-requisite for improving the performance of components that rely on low thermal impedance for their operation. The project approach is to forge synergy between these currently diverse materials and processes, develop, model and innovate as appropriate and then evolve the merged elements to provide a new manufacturing technology. Microwave systems represent one of the fastest growing World industries. The World market for microwave modules is growing at 27% per annum compound growth rate, of which the substrates alone currently account for over 100MECU p.a. This programme is seen as a route to providing the low-cost, small-size, multi-chip microwave modules that will be required in future systems, thereby ensuring European manufacturers have access to this market. Power conditioning modules are critical components in the emerging markets of photovoltaic and wind turbine electricity generation, while advanced heaters are in great demand for applications ranging from satellite temperature control through medical instrumentation to food processing. The consortium includes an supplier of low temperature co-fired ceramic, together with the companies expert in designing and using duplex metal-metalloid alloys and microwave circuits. Three end users are included, each representing totally different applications and market sectors. They are supported by two Research Organisations capable in assisting in the detailed characterisation of materials and systems and joining methods.
The main achievements of the programme available for exploitation will be:
- Capability to design and manufacture microwave multi-chip modules using multi-layer low temperature co-fired ceramic substrates and duplex metal-metalloid alloy heat sinks;
- Process for flip-chip soldering bonding single commercial-off-the-shelf die;
- Process for making planar, large area, metallic joints of high integrity÷ Software modelling suite for multi-layer microwave circuits. BE97-4883
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
7000 AN Doetinchem
7300 AM Apeldoorn