Novel ACF for room temperature, low pressure component bonding in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics
CondAlign brings a range of innovative, adhesive anisotropic conductive films (ACFs) to the market, enabling a novel way of component bonding in flexible and hybrid electronics (FHE). This new ACF named E-Align, offers electrical as well as mechanical bonding of components to flexible and rigid substrates at room temperature. The ACF comes in the form of a double-sided tape, with no heat or post curing required. With a typical bonding pressure of ca 0,1 – 0,3 MPa, E-Align is streamlining and simplifying the entire production process.
This E-Align-range of ACFs addresses a key challenge concerning the flexible and printed electronics field for years: “How to attach components to flexible substrates at low temperatures”, identified by technology analysts as a key challenge and “Enabling Technology” in FHE.
CondAlign’s patented technology is based on dielectrophoresis, where an external electric field is applied to align particles in z-direction of the polymer during the ACF production, creating an anisotropic conductive film. The process is well suited for continuous and efficient roll-to-roll production, already implemented in our pilot coating line in Oslo.
It enables reduction of the particle loading to be far below the percolation threshold, while still maintaining good electrical conductivity in Z-direction. The significant reduction in particle content has three essential effects:
- the material cost is reduced compared to traditional ECAs,
- it makes the ACF retain the initial polymer properties very well (adhesiveness, softness, flexibility, transparency etc), and
- it reduces the environmental impact of the particles in the final product.
The first product in the market is E-Align100, available in commercial volumes during Q1-’23. Thickness and pitch are 100µm, well suited for bonding contact areas down to ca 0,5 mm2. Typical applications are “paper”-batteries, flex-tails, LEDs, and components with similar sized contact areas. Peel strength is in the 3,5 N/cm range, and resistance in the few hundred milliOhms/mm2 range, depending on the surface materials and topography.
Next product in line is the E-Align025 version, planned for launch shortly after the E-Align100. With 25µm thickness and pitch, it’s suitable for bonding contact areas down to ca 100x100µm2. Typical applications are RFID and NFC components in smart label products, microcontrollers, and similar sized components.
The third version in this product range will be the E-Align010, enabling bonding of components with contact areas as small as to 20x20µm2 and below. These dimensions have already been demonstrated at lab scale in our coating line and been tested by customers.
The CondAlign technology is applicable to a broad range of products, from IoT to industrial products and consumer electronics.