Averatek Corporation

Averatek Corporation is a high tech company based in Santa Clara, CA that provides custom design services and patterned circuit board materials manufactured through the use of an innovative, proprietary process.

Components / Substrates

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2 technical articles »

Semi-Additive Process (SAP) Utilizing Very Uniform Ultrathin Copper by A Novel Catalyst

Sep 02, 2020 | Steve Iketani, Mike Vinson

The demand for miniaturization and higher density electronic products has continued steadily for years, and this trend is expected to continue, according to various semiconductor technology and applications roadmaps. The printed circuit board (PCB) must support this trend as the central interconnection of the system. There are several options for fine line circuitry. A typical fine line circuit PCB product using copper foil technology, such as the modified semi-additive process (mSAP), uses a thin base copper layer made by pre-etching. The ultrathin copper foil process (SAP with ultrathin copper foil) is facing a technology limit for the miniaturization due to copper roughness and thickness control. The SAP process using sputtered copper is a solution, but the sputtering process is expensive and has issues with via plating. SAP using electroless copper deposition is another solution, but the process involved is challenged to achieve adequate adhesion and insulation between fine-pitch circuitries. A novel catalyst system--liquid metal ink (LMI)--has been developed that avoids these concerns and promotes a very controlled copper thickness over the substrate, targeting next generation high density interconnect (HDI) to wafer-level packaging substrates and enabling 5-micron level feature sizes. This novel catalyst has a unique feature, high density, and atomic-level deposition. Whereas conventional tin-palladium catalyst systems provide sporadic coverage over the substrate surface, the deposited catalyst covers the entire substrate surface. As a result, the catalyst enables improved uniformity of the copper deposition starting from the initial stage while providing higher adhesion and higher insulation resistance compared to the traditional catalysts used in SAP processes. This article discusses this new catalyst process, which both proposes a typical SAP process using the new catalyst and demonstrates the reliability improvements through a comparison between a new SAP PCB process and a conventional SAP PCB process....

Surface Treatment Enabling Low Temperature Soldering to Aluminum

Jul 29, 2020 | Divyakant Kadiwala

The majority of flexible circuits are made by patterning copper metal that is laminated to a flexible substrate, which is usually polyimide film of varying thickness. An increasingly popular method to meet the need for lower cost circuitry is the use of aluminum on Polyester (Al-PET) substrates. This material is gaining popularity and has found wide use in RFID tags, low cost LED lighting and other single-layer circuits. However, both aluminum and PET have their own constraints and require special processing to make finished circuits. Aluminum is not easy to solder components to at low temperatures and PET cannot withstand high temperatures. Soldering to these materials requires either an additional surface treatment or the use of conductive epoxy to attach components. Surface treatment of aluminum includes the likes of Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold plating (ENIG), which is extensive wet-chemistry and cost-prohibitive for mass adoption. Conductive adhesives, including Anisotropic Conductive Paste (ACP), are another alternate to soldering components. These result in component substrate interfaces that are inferior to conventional solders in terms of performance and reliability. An advanced surface treatment technology will be presented that addresses all these constraints. Once applied on Aluminum surfaces using conventional printing techniques such as screen, stencil, etc., it is cured thermally in a convection oven at low temperatures. This surface treatment is non-conductive. To attach a component, a solder bump on the component or solder printed on the treated pad is needed before placing the component. The Aluminum circuit will pass through a reflow oven, as is commonly done in PCB manufacturing. This allows for the formation of a true metal to metal bond between the solder and the aluminum on the pads. This process paves the way for large scale, low cost manufacturing of Al-PET circuits. We will also discuss details of the process used to make functional aluminum circuits, study the resultant solder-aluminum bond, shear results and SEM/ EDS analysis....

1 news release »

NexLogic Technologies, Inc. Implements Averatek's Breakthrough Aluminum Soldering Process

Jul 15, 2021 | Averatek is pleased to announce that NexLogic Technologies, Inc. has implemented soldering to aluminum using Averatek's Mina™ chemistry. Mina™ is a breakthrough new pretreatment that allows for soldering to aluminum as easily as to copper with significant benefits over traditional methods of soldering to aluminum.

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