IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Volume 24, No. 3, pp. 520-525, September 2001

Fundamental Reliability Issues Associated with A Commercial Particle-in-Elastomer Interconnection System

Weifeng Liu, Michael Pecht,
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Consortium
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Jingsong Xie
Microsoft Corporation
Redmond, WA 98052


The use of very high I/O count electronic components, driven by higher performance and functionality requirements, has significantly impacted surface mount assembly yields. Metal particle-in-elastomer sockets were introduced to provide a solderless interconnection alternative with high I/O capability; easy assembly, rework, and maintenance; and the ability to upgrade components in the field. However, as a new technology, elastomer sockets need to be assessed in terms of their reliability.

A successful reliability assessment must be based on an understanding of the functional, performance, and life requirements; the environmental and operational life-cycle conditions; materials and design properties; and potential failure modes and mechanisms. This paper presents recent studies by the CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center in characterizing the materials and design properties of a commercially available (Thomas and Betts) metal particle-in-elastomer interconnection system. These studies revealed the potential failure modes and mechanisms of this elastomer socket, and can be used to select suitable application parameters when using this socket. The results may also serve as a reference for technology insertion and evaluation of other elastomer interconnection systems.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members

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