38th International Symposium on Microelectronics, Emerging Technologies, pp. 169-176, Philadelphia, PA, September 25-29, 2005

Carbon Fiber Electrical Interconnects

Yuliang Deng, Ji Wu, and Michael Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Michael Butler, Joseph Swift, and Stanley Wallace
Xerox Innovation Group
800 Phillips Road
Webster, NY 14580, USA


This paper describes research into carbon fiber, in forms of carbon fiber composites (CFCs) and carbon fiber tow, as a new material for electronic interconnects. Carbon fiber has been routinely used in structural applications in, for example air transportation, aerospace, and consumer applications. More recently they have found use in some limited electrical applications. In this study, we provide electrical properties data which suggests that carbon fiber-based interconnects can be applied across different packaging levels, such as package-to-board and board-to-board interconnections. Each interconnect member can consist of a large number of individual carbon fibers which can act cooperatively to provide a high degree of reliability and predictability to the interconnect function. These novel interconnects can join to conventional circuitry by pressure/physical contact, solder, or conductive adhesive. Multiple interconnect members can be integrated to provide multiple In/Output interconnections within a single assembly. To achieve enhanced conductivity and solderability, individual carbon fibers can be coated with a thin layer of metal, such as nickel. Thermal expansion and thermal stability characteristics are also presented in this report and used to support the proposition that carbon fiber-based composites are a candidate material for the next generation of electronic interconnects.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.


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