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SMT007-Jun2021

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JUNE 2021 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 23 However, since the pass/fail criteria remains the same for materials from different classes, users will still be required to ensure that the materials are fit for purpose and meet their requirements. Electrolube remains committed to providing conformal coating solutions to meet current challenges but also pay attention to future requirements. e novel, high-performance, solvent-free 2K range of conformal coatings, initially introduced some five years ago, is finding commercial success in many applications. Improved environmental credentials, as a result of the solvent-free nature and lack of by-products from curing, sit happily alongside improved condensation resistance and are the hallmarks of the 2K range. As for me, I am really looking forward to resuming live and in-person events where I can talk about conformal coating solutions and solve customer's challenges and issues with them. I'm also really excited about the product launches we will be making later in the year, as well as unleashing future innovations from our R&D pipeline. Finally, I am really looking forward to our integration journey into Mac- Dermid Alpha Electronics Solutions and the benefits that will see continued investment and the opportunity to work with a much larger global team. 2021 is shaping up to be a very exciting year personally, professionally, and for the industry in general. SMT007 Phil Kinner is the global busi- ness and technical director of conformal coatings at Electro- lube. To read past columns or contact Kinner, click here. Down- load your free copy of Electrol- ube's book, The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to… Conformal Coatings for Harsh Environments, and watch the micro webinar series "Coatings Uncoated!" A Rice University laboratory has adapted its laser- induced graphene technique to make high-resolu- tion, micron-scale patterns of the conductive mate- rial for consumer electronics and other applications. Laser-induced graphene (LIG), introduced in 2014 by Rice chemist James Tour, involves burning away everything that isn't carbon from polymers or other materials, leaving the carbon atoms to reconfigure themselves into films of characteristic hexagonal graphene. The process employs a commercial laser that "writes" graphene patterns into surfaces that to date have included wood, paper, and even food. The new iteration writes fine pat- terns of graphene into photoresist polymers, light-sensitive materials used in photolithography and photo- engraving. Baking the film increases its carbon content, and subsequent lasing solidifies the robust graphene pattern, after which unlasered photo- resist is washed away. Details of the PR-LIG process appear in the Amer- ican Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. "This process permits the use of graphene wires and devices in a more conventional silicon-like pro- cess technology," Tour said. "It should allow a tran- sition into mainline electronics platforms." The Rice lab produced lines of LIG about 10 microns wide and hundreds of nanometers thick, comparable to that now achieved by more cum- bersome processes that involve lasers attached to scanning electron microscopes, according to the researchers. Because the positive photoresist is a liquid before being spun onto a substrate for lasing, it's a simple mat- ter to dope the raw material with met- als or other additives to customize it for applications, Tour said. Potential applications include on- chip microsupercapacitors, functional nanocomposites, and microfluidic arrays. (Source: Rice University) Rice Lab Uses Laser-Induced Graphene Process to Create Micron-Scale Patterns in Photoresist

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