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80 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2018 RFID Tag Market This surface treatment was originally de- signed for the high-volume RFID tag market. For cost reasons, aluminum-polyester (Al-PET) materials are a preferred choice, but this mate- rial does present some challenges. Aluminum is difficult to solder to at lower temperatures and PET cannot withstand high temperatures. Soldering to aluminum is difficult because of the presence of a thin layer of aluminum oxide that is present when Al-PET is exposed to air. The oxide can be removed with extensive wet chemistry but adds cost and makes this materi- al cost prohibitive in high volume. Anisotropic conductive paste (ACP) is a common solution to this challenge and is widely used for attach- ing components to aluminum-based RFIDs. It is applied to the face of the chip, which is at- tached to the antenna using heat and pressure. However, ACP has its own challenges. It is typ- ically syringe applied, requires longer cure times, has pot-life issues and is electrically in- ferior to conventional solders. In addition, it must be stored at low temperatures in special freezers to control the polymerization of the epoxy. LED Market As Mina is entering the market and people are learning more about it, discussions of ap- plications in other industries are happening and other potential uses are being explored. One prominent market also poised to bene- fit from Mina is the rapidly growing LED mar- ket. According to a study from Zion Market Re- search, the LED market is predicted to have a 13% CAGR from 2107 to 2022, with an estimat- ed market of $54 billion in 2022. In the LED market, Mina can both lower cost and improve performance. The underlying goal for better performance in the LED mar- ket is keeping the LED cooler. One segment of the LED market, using thinner aluminum and less expensive materials, has similarity to the RFID tag market. Currently, base materials vary between copper-PET laminate and alumi- num-PET laminate. Applications using Al-PET materials also typically bond to aluminum us- ing the conductive epoxy method mentioned earlier. The use of Mina in these applications results in a true metal-to-metal bond that im- proves both the electrical performance and the thermal conductivity (Figure 2). As a result, the LED stays cooler. Oftentimes in this segment of the market, copper-PET materials are being used when the conductive epoxy approach to assembly does not provide the needed performance. Mina would enable the adoption of the Al-PET ma- terials which can reduce the cost of the base materials by 80%. Once Mina is applied, the traditional soldering process used on copper- PET circuits can be performed. In the high-power LED seg- ment of the market, thicker cop- per with a polymer dielectric is most commonly used. This dielectric does provide some thermal performance. The in- troduction of Mina has provid- ed another option for consid- eration and improved perfor- mance of LEDs. LED systems typically consist of a package, board and heat-sink. The pack- age consists of the LEDs with two leads, and a separate ther- mal pad in case of high pow- er LED systems. The tradition- al board can be eliminated by Aluminum Oxide Base Layer Copper or Aluminum Circuit Layer Dielectric Layer (HPL, HT, MP) Figure 2: Aluminum oxide as a dielectric layer.

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