Researchers Develop Lead-Free Electronics Packaging Solution
RIT investigates new adhesive to enhance environmental quality and performance
Dec. 3, 2009
by Michelle Cometa
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A team of faculty from Rochester Institute of Technology is investigating a unique conductive adhesive for lead-free electronics assembly that will improve product quality and reduce the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process.
Lead by engineers at RIT’s Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly the multidisciplinary team will investigate the use of an anisotropic conductive adhesive, a lead-free conductive material, for soldering electronics to circuit boards. The material also allows for reduced energy use because it can be processed at lower temperatures and enhances the long-term performance of circuit assemblies.
“Anisotropic adhesive has significant environmental and performance advantages but is still in the early stages of development and usage in commercial manufacturing processes,” says Manian Ramkumar, the director of the Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly. “This project will allow for additional testing of the material to improve overall performance and enhance additional commercialization and use.”
The project is being funded through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, a statewide research and development center housed at RIT. It focuses on developing and implementing new pollution prevention, alternative material and sustainable design technologies in New York state businesses through direct technical assistance and targeted grants.
“The Pollution Prevention Institute is very pleased to be funding this project given the Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembley’s long history of applied research and technical expertise in the electronics industry,” adds Anahita Williamson, director of the institute. “The advancement of lead-free adhesives will have a tremendous impact on the environment and further promote the efficiency and productivity of New York state industry.”
Ramkumar will be joined on the research project by RIT’s Changfeng Ge, assistant professor of manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology/packaging science, and K.S.V. Santhanam, professor of materials science and engineering.