Custom Case Study
A customer’s satellite design incorporated a power module that required tight temperature control to ensure the various components included in the circuit performed at an optimal level. To achieve this, heat would have to be transferred from one area of the board to a heatsink, while still having standard RF lines with a TiW / Au metal stack.
Vishay EFI's custom thin film solution was to deposit a metal stack onto the PCB that incorporated the necessary thermal and power management properties and operational performance in a space-level application.
The first metal layer is chrome, to provide the adhesion for the very important second layer of copper. Copper has excellent heat transfer properties and is ideal for controlling temperature in these high efficiency applications. The specific thickness of the copper was determined by the customer’s design requirements and an internal specification was agreed upon that would allow them to use this technique in other applications.
On top of the copper, a nickel layer provides a solder barrier to compensate for any issues caused by the soldering process during manufacturing and assembly.
Finally, a gold layer enables the wire bonding of components and completes the metal stack. As gold is a noble metal, it is not susceptible to oxidation and is therefore ideal for these space-level applications.
The metal stack applied and incorporated into the customer’s design provided the energy transfer required to achieve optimal circuit performance in a space environment. Specifying the copper layer thickness also provided a standard that can be used in future designs with similar requirements for this customer.
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