Beihan Zhao1, Aniket Bharamgonda1, Edwin Quinn2, George Stackhouse2, Jason Fleischer2, Michael Osterman1, Michael Azarian1, Daniel Hines2, Siddhartha Das1, and Abhijit Dasgupta1
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2 Laboratory for Physical Sciences College Park, MD, USA
3 Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20740, USA
For more information about this article and related research, please contact Prof. Abhijit Dasgupta.
Aerosol-Jet Printing (AJP) technology, applied to the manufacturing of printed hybrid electronics (PHE) devices, has the capability to fabricate highly complex structures with resolution in the tens-of-microns scale, creating new possibilities for the fabrication of electronic devices and assemblies. The widespread use of AJP in fabricating PHE and package-level electronics necessitates a thorough assessment of their reliability under different kinds of life-cycle operational and environmental stresses. One important hindrance to the reliability and long-term performance of such AJP electronics is electrochemical migration (ECM). ECM is an important failure mechanism in electronics under temperature and humidity conditions because it can lead to conductive dendritic growth, which can cause dielectric breakdown, leakage current, and unexpected short circuits. In this paper, the ECM propensity in conductive traces printed with AJP process, using silver-nanoparticle (AgNP) based inks, was experimentally studied using temperature-humidity-bias (THB) testing of printed test coupons. Conductive dendritic growth with complex morphologies were observed under different levels of temperature, humidity and electric bias in the THB experiments. A non-monotonic relationship between time-to-failure and electric field strength was noticed. An empirical acceleration model for ECM is proposed, by combining the classical Peck's model with a quadratic polynomial dependence on electric field strength. This model provides good estimate of acceleration factors for use conditions where the temperature, humidity and electrical field are within the tested range, but should be extrapolated with care beyond the tested range.
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