Little Particles Yield Big Advances

The nanomaterials revolution is continuing to evolve, with little steps that will eventually combine to create major changes. In printed boards, new materials are providing improvements that make it easier to produce reliable boards at lower costs.

At IPC Midwest last fall, keynoter Alan Rae of the NanoMaterials Innovation Center, said disruptive technologies were moving out of the labs into production. The latest example comes from Semblant Ltd. of Chandler, Ariz. The company’s PlasmaShield conformal coat process prevents solids and liquids from attacking circuitry while also helping retard the growth of tin whiskers.

Lower manufacturing costs and improved performance have been key goals for nanomaterial providers. If improved coating processes lower costs and enable this protection to move into higher volume products, consumers will gain and the electronics industry’s impact on refuge and recycling plants will decline. And if those coatings bring better protection, high reliability users will also benefit.

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