Thermal Analysis of Polymers
The general function of electronics packaging and interconnection is to convert basic electronic designs into optimized hardware components.
The thermal analysis of polymers characterizes polymeric materials, their transitions, and the changes in material properties with temperature.
Thermomechanical analysis measures the deformation of polymer material under a non-oscillatory load as a function of temperature.
Polymers are often used in electronics packaging
Polymers make electronic packaging possible; they provide mechanical support, insulation, and in certain cases, act as an intermediate material in device fabrication. Polymers are used in electronics packaging, molded products, encapsulants, circuit boards, adhesives, wires, and cable insulation. The quality of polymer used in packaging and interconnections is of great importance, as it affects the clock rate, impedance, heat dissipation, performance, and reliability of an electronic package.
To check a polymer’s quality and properties, thermal analysis is the best method to use. The thermal analysis of polymers characterizes the polymeric materials, their transitions, and the changes in the material’s properties with temperature.
Polymers in Electronic Packages
The general function of electronics packaging and interconnection is to convert basic electronic designs into optimized hardware components. Packaging should make the hardware system functional, manufacturable, and reliable and establish environmental and mechanical protection, electrical interconnection, and a proper mechanism of heat dissipation from the die to the ambient.
When used as packaging material, polymers are multifunctional. They adhere to the physical, electrical, thermal, mechanical, and chemical property requirements in electronics packaging. When selecting a polymer for packaging purposes, the engineering design of the package, type of polymer material, and the internal and external conditions of the package should be considered. As a part of optimizing the electronic package, parameters such as physical space, cost, and performance should also be considered.
Common Requirements of Polymers Used in Packaging
There are a wide range of polymers available for electronics packaging and interconnection applications. When intended for use in electronics packaging, there are some common requirements that polymers must satisfy:
Low dielectric loss
High glass transition temperature
Matching coefficient of thermal expansion
Long-term chemical stability
Low ionic impurity content
Low moisture absorption
Good adhesion to substrate and metallization
Thermal Analysis of Polymers
Thermal analysis of polymers is a traditional analysis technique used to check whether a polymer is genuine or fake. The thermal analysis of polymers is important, as engineers can measure various properties—such as the physical, electrical, thermal, or optical properties—of the polymer material. It also sheds light on other parameters such as ageing, transitions, the effect of additives, and the influence of diverse environmental conditions on the polymers, so that we get a chance to judge the durability and reliability of the electronics package.
The thermal analysis of polymers consists of a set of methods to study the behavior of the polymers under controlled temperature conditions. The upcoming section introduces some important thermal analysis methods for polymers recommended by the International Confederation of Thermal Analysis (ICTA).
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) - Differential scanning calorimetry is a thermal analysis method used to measure a physical property called enthalpy as a function of temperature. A sample of polymer is heated, cooled, or kept at a constant temperature to measure the amount of energy released or absorbed by the material.
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) - Thermogravimetric analysis measures the mass of the polymer sample as a function of temperature by subjecting it to a controlled temperature heating.
Thermomechanical analysis (TMA) - Thermomechanical analysis measures the deformation of the polymer material under a non-oscillatory load as a function of temperature.
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) - Dynamic mechanical analysis measures the damping or dynamic modulus of the polymer material under oscillatory load as a function of temperature.
Apart from the aforementioned methods, there are several other thermal analysis techniques such as thermodilatometry, differential thermal analysis, thermoelectrometry, and thermomagnetometry. Regardless of the analysis technique you use, the thermal analysis of polymers is an important general concept to understand, as it is necessary to engineer electronic packaging. If you are modeling electronic packaging, Cadence software offers a full suite of design tools.
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