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84 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 During the IPC High-Reliability Forum and Microvia Summit, I spoke with Customer Ap- plications Scientist Elizabeth Kidd and Sales Engineer Alex Bien, both of BTG Labs, about their presentation on the challenges of work- ing with highly sensitive surfaces, such as the risk of contamination. We also discussed the various surface characterization techniques that BTG Labs uses to identify such contami - nants, and some PCB design strategies for cre- ating a better surface—and a more reliable board. Andy Shaughnessy: Elizabeth, it's nice to meet you. I know you're giving a presentation in a few days, but tell us about the company, and then we'll talk about your presentation. Elizabeth Kidd: Sure. BTG labs is a materials sci- ence company specializing in surface science and adhesion technologies. We have our roots in being a research and development lab and scoping root cause analyses for people who are scratching their heads at these industrial ad- hesion problems. From there, we develop the technology to make manufacturing floor in- spections of materials as they go through their critical surface process points. Alex Bien: We help folks to hone in on one ar- ea—the surface—that they've never had eyes on nor had a way to quickly evaluate surface chemistry in a fast, point-and-shoot manner. Our opening speaker today is addressing this lack of insight into the three nanometers that we need to control to create reliable adhesion. Thus, our focus is putting that technology to the floor in the hands of people who are mak- ing dollars-and-cents decisions every day. Kidd: And taking the high sensitivity of R&D techniques—such as XPS, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and FTIR, which is Fourier trans- form infrared spectroscopy—that have their eyes on the top molecular layer of a surface, and being able to scale that to a method or technique that can be taken onto the manufac- turing floor. Shaughnessy: Can you also tell us about your presentation? Kidd: The presentation addressed what we just mentioned—controlling your surface process to better your wire bonding, die pad bonding, laminate coating adhesion, and all of those things. We even have some applications for the coupling agents that we were speaking of known as a conversion coating, and other in- dustries use those organosilanes to increase adhesion between organic material and inor- ganic material. Focusing on Surface Sensitivity for Reliability Elizabeth Kidd and Alex Bien

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