RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are used as an alternative to bar codes for inventory control and theft protection. They are typically used in mass quantities and therefore must be produced for pennies a piece. Sizes are typically a few millimeters square down to several hundred microns.
All steps of RFID assembly can be accomplished with a FINEPLACER® in either a manual or automatic system, with several optional configurations available.
What are the Challenges?
- Need for a flexible and easy to use system for process development
- Quick adaptation to different bonding technologies required
- High variety of designs creates many variables in parameters
- Demand on specialized bonding equipment with very accurate thermal management
- As RFID tech matures, component viewing and handling will become more critical
The Finetech Solution
Substrate Materials and Chip Characteristics
The typical substrate material is Polyethylenterephthalate (PET), thin (down to 0.1 mm), soft, flexible and thermally sensitive (max. 80°C). These properties necessitate well controlled process parameters during the bonding process. Furthermore, an appropriate vacuum holder is necessary to ensure an even working area.
Because of the substrate’s “floppiness”, underfill or encapsulation is obligatory.
Components are passive RF circuits having two or three bumps. Being typical two-pole circuits, they need an additional third bump only for mechanical stability.
Process Development in Preparation of Full Scale Production
The most common use of a FINEPLACER® in the RFID domain is as a process development tool. Due to its modular application flexibility, the tool offers several processes for evaluation prior to full scale production, such as adhesive bonding, thermo-sonic bonding, dispense and UV cure. Optimized process parameters can be readily evaluated, such as temperature, time, force and ultra-sonic energy.
R&D test assemblies can be set up quickly for rapid prototyping to find the correct material combination and to generate samples for:
- Adhesive testing
- Ageing tests
- Electrical optimization
- Fatigue tests
Bonding Method 1: Ultrasonic Bonding
During alignment and placement, the chip is held on the die collet by vacuum. During the bonding process, the die collet executes transverse oscillations, transferring energy to the die/substrate-interface by friction. Typical frequencies are ~60 kHz.
Typical bonding parameters for an RFID chip are:
- Power = 1 W
- T = from room temperature up to 80°C
- Time (of ultrasonic vibration) = 500 ms
Integrated Process Management (IPM)
The Integrated Process Management (IPM) is the center piece of a FINEPLACER® system1 - the place where it all comes together. IPM is more than just thermal management. It synchronizes the control of all process modules and their related parameters:
- Controlled and precisely balanced interaction of top and bottom (pre-)heating and cooling
- Control of temperature, time, force, power, energy, flow
- Controlled process gas integration for reduced solder contamination, minimized surface tension effects and smooth spherical solder residues
IPM is very complex, yet easy to access. Via the GUI of the operating software, the user has perfect control of all required adjustments. Just drag 'n drop to define temperature ramps or activate process modules. All settings are represented in only one profile, making for a very intuitive work flow.
The operating software provides an ever-growing library of profiles for all kinds of processes. It also offers comprehensive data logging functions essential for statistical process control.
In combination with the system-to-system process transfer capability this is as easy as process development can get.
1 FINEPLACER® core offers co-ordinated top and bottom heating but does not support IPM
Recommended Bonding Systems
FINEPLACER® bonding systems essentially vary in
- degree of automation
- optical resolution and
- placement accuracy
Browse our product range or get in contact with your sales contact to figure out the best equipment solution for your requirements.