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DECEMBER 2018 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 81 What are your favorite and least favorite as- pects of working with an emerging and de- veloping technology? Vinson: You're right, Tara (laughs). Work- ing with an emerging and developing tech- nology can be both ex- citing and challeng- ing at the same time. I think my favorite part of working in this en- vironment is the abili- ty to create new solu- tions and product cat- egories that would not have existed otherwise. One of my least favor- ite aspects is the long transition times from prototype to production. An emerging technology can have a long cycle time from concept to prototype, and a long cy- cle from prototype to production. Dunn: One thing that is very interesting to me is the fact that Averatek's SAP process applies to materials outside of just PCB materials. What are other application areas for this technology? Vinson: Yes, we have been more focused on the PCB fabrication process while discussing what we are presenting at IPC APEX EXPO in Janu- ary, but Averatek's chemistry applies to oth- er functional areas as well. We can put met- al on 3D-printed objects for wear, conductive, and aesthetic properties. We enable the effi- cient use of precious metals for industrial ca- talysis operations such as catalytic converters, food processing, refineries, etc. One of the oth- er applications receiving a lot of attention and interest is the ability to metalize industrial fab- rics, fibers, and films. Dunn: Speaking of other applications that you are involved with, let's switch gears to the sec- ond topic Averatek will be presenting on at IPC APEX EXPO 2019. You will be speaking about a surface finish treatment that enables low-tem- perature soldering to aluminum. What markets do you see as early adopters of this surface fin- ish treatment? Vinson: We have seen early adopters include both the radio-frequency identification (RFID) and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting panels. Each engagement with new customers pro- vides us with new applications for our "Mina" product. Dunn: What are the benefits of Mina in terms of both cost and performance? Vinson: One of the benefits of a simple surface treatment enabling low-temperature soldering to aluminum is that it allows for the use of alu- minum in place of more expensive and heavier alternatives like copper. Options such as alu- minum-polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) cir- cuitry become much more attractive. Anoth- er benefit is the reduction in the thermal re- sistance between high power components and aluminum heat sinks. Expensive anisotropic conductive paste (ACP) and conductive silver- filled epoxies can be replaced with high-per- Figure 2: Averatek's Mina product, a surface treatment enabling low-temperature soldering to aluminum.

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