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Infrared heat for electronics

Infrared for Printed Electronics Applications

From electronic devices for automotives to atomic layer deposition for semiconductors, many parts need precise and controlled heating during their production.

Advantages with infrared heating:

  • Infrared radiation is transferred without contact and so optimally suited for heat processes in a vacuum
  • Infrared emitters with response times of a few seconds are easy to control
Infrared heat for atomic layer deposition

ALD is a key process in the production of semiconductor devices or the synthesis of nanomaterials. The ALD technique is based on the use of a chemical process in a gas phase. The so called precursors react with the surface of a material and through the repeated exposure to separate precursors a thin film is slowly deposited. Depending on the material, this process requires heat induction or can be enhanced by heat.

  • Infrared radiation is highly efficient for heating processes under vacuum
  • Infrared is transferring high amounts of energy without any contact
  • Infrared emitters heat up very fast and respond to control in very short time
IR heaters for protective silicone coatings

Silicone encapsulants are used particularly in the automotive sector to protect components with electronics against moisture, dust, salt spray or vibration.

If the parts are preheated prior to over molding, the plastic will remain flowable for the time needed. Infrared systems respond to control very quickly, faster than hot air, so the preheating can be done in time with the, usually robot-based, process.

Infrared spotlight emitters for targeted riveting

Riveting electronic parts inside plastic housings is difficult if the pins are difficult to access due to the tight space. The narrowness in combination with the heat-sensitive components requires heat sources such as the infrared spotlight emitters. These transfer heat specifically only to the rivets, automatable and reliable, thus helping to reduce rejects. In contrast to contact heat no plastic can melt on hot contact surfaces. Infrared radiation is targeted to the pins and so sensitive electronics or coated surfaces are save from heat damage.

Printed materials in the electronics industry need intelligent solutions for print drying and sintering. Heraeus have created infrared processes for post-treatment of roll-to-roll printing. Extensive research and testing with different techniques has provided optimal solutions for end users. Heraeus has also carried out advanced numerical computer simulations to predict and confirm results.

Ray Tracing simulations were also used to ensure the setup geometry is optimized for each specific application. The photo above shows a process that is divided into a Drying Zone (50 kW/m2 emitter power density) and a Sintering Zone (150 kW/m2 emitter power density).

Inks, Printing Techniques and Substrates Using IR Technology

Heraeus has extensively tested all combinations of inks, printing techniques and substrates successfully processed so far using Heraeus infrared technology. This even includes a dielectric material that is usually cured by UV light. By fine tuning the parameters of the infrared process, optimal drying and sintering conditions for all combinations were achieved:

  • Power density range - 20 to 220 kW/m2
  • Peak emission wavelength between 0.9 and 2.0 µm (equivalent to filament temperatures of 1200°C to 3000°C)
  • IR drying and sintering with a web speed of 60 m/min
  • High suitability for mass production
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