Primoceler, ESA present functionality test results of glass welding stress

Electronics packing solutions developer Primoceler (Tampere, Finland), together with the European Space Agency (ESA; Paris, France), has concluded a series of tests to prove the functionality and robustness of a patented, proprietary laser glass welding technology. The results were recently presented to International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS) conference attendees in Orlando.

"Originally designed to withstand the any environment, our hermetically sealed packaging has already provided tremendous benefits to the ESA," explains Ville Hevonkorpi, general manager at Primoceler. "This technology has countless additional applications—some already in use, others theoretical. Discussing our test results at IMAPS provided the opportunity for industry leaders to see and understand the value of our low-temperature bonding innovation. Medical devices, sensitive electronics, and other applications like CMOS sensors are just a few areas where the process has potential to be a game-changer."

Primoceler's laser welding process  joins substrates at the material interface without the need for high heat or additives. Surface quality and even coatings are therefore fully preserved, a necessary quality when dealing with sensitive electronic devices. The process has been successfully used with several types of glass. Silicon-to-glass and sapphire welds are another option with this kind of bonding.

After rigorous performance testing, Primoceler has shown that its welding and high-volume manufacturing process sets a high standard. Packages were subjected to 100 rapid temperature cycles, from -55° to 175°C. No visual or performance impacts were observed. A test for moisture resistance provided similarly strong results. The hermeticity of the glass packages was likewise demonstrated to be significantly superior even to military requirements. The opto-electrical performance of the packaged components was checked at three points—initial assembly, after lid welding, and after stress testing. All of the components (hundreds) performed well within specifications every time.

The performance results further raise the packaging industry’s interest in glass. Not only is it a hermetic material, but it is also cheap and easily available. Currently, all the major companies (Schott, AGC, and Corning) have brought extremely thin glass substrates to the markets. The materials are "off the shelf" and a separate grinding process is not necessary. These ultra-thin glasses (UTGs) benefit Primoceler's packaging technology—the low amount of heat does not warp or bow the wafer and the potential applications are nearly limitless.

The key advantage of the technology is that it enables electronic components to become smaller while still preserving performance and protecting delicate circuitry. Currently, mobile devices are at the forefront of this type of innovation. Soon, the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase the need for smaller electronics packages. Primoceler is ready to meet this demand—with processing speed of 4–10 min./wafer, the technology is ready for mass production.

The ESA and Primoceler are currently in partnership to develop even more cutting-edge device packaging solutions that build on the breakthrough of low-impact glass welding. In the meantime, Primoceler is joining the Packaging Research Center at the Georgia Tech Research Consortium (Atlanta, GA), where industry leaders and academics work together to design and develop the next generation of packaging solutions.

For more information, please visit www.primoceler.com.



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