June 18, 2024

Understanding the Wide Applications of Electrically Conductive Adhesives

What are Electrically Conductive Adhesives?

They contain conductive fillers like silver, carbon, or nickel which allow them to electrically connect components even when applied in bond line thicknesses as small as 5-25 microns.

Types of Electrically Conductive Adhesives

There are a few main types of electrically conductive adhesives used in different applications:

– Epoxy-based conductive adhesives: One of the most common types which offer good adhesion strength and thermal conductivity. They contain silver or carbon fillers and work well for general purpose bonding.

– Acrylic-based conductive adhesives: Provide flexibility and ease of application while maintaining good conductivity. Used extensively in displays, touch sensors, and flexible electronics.

– Thermally curing adhesives: Contain thermosetting polymers that cure upon heating. Ideal for aerospace, military, and automotive applications requiring high temperatures and pressures.

– UV curing adhesives: Cure quickly when exposed to UV light for applications requiring speedy processing times. Used in electronics, displays, and medical devices.

– Anisotropic conductive adhesives (ACA): Contain conductive particles in a non-conductive adhesive film. Particles make contact at bond interfaces to conduct signals vertically but not horizontally. Critical for applications like chip-on-glass bonding.

Applications of Electrically Conductive Adhesives

The wide variety of available electrically conductive adhesives allow them to be used across many industries:

– Bonding of chips to substrates, circuit boards, and contacts
– Touchscreens, displays, monitors
– Solar cells, flexible electronics
– Connecting LEDs, sensors, and other components

– Battery connections and management
– Sensor bonding for advanced driver assistance systems
– Connectivity in hybrid/electric vehicles

– Bonding of switches, connectors, contacts in machinery
– Interconnecting printed/flexible circuits
– Sensor and transducer assemblies

Medical Devices
– Connections in implantable devices, hearing aids
– Attachment of electrodes, wiring in monitors
– Chip integration in diagnostic equipment

Benefits Over Other Connection Methods

Some key advantages of Electrical Conductive Adhesive   compared to traditional connection methods:

– No need for complex assembly equipment like soldering machines which reduces costs.

– Ability to bond diverse materials like metals, ceramics and plastics without thermal damage. Soldering usually requires matching CTE.

– Forms rugged, sealed connections ideal for harsh environments, vibrations and thermal cycling.

– Bonds components in 3D configurations or on curved/oddly shaped surfaces not feasible with rigid PCBs.

– Process is simpler, faster and more flexible than wire bonding or flip chip attachment methods.

– Environmentally friendly as they eliminate use of toxic solders.

– Can align and self-heal imperfect contacts to ensure reliable conductivity even over bumpy surfaces.

Developments and Future Outlook

Advancements in nanomaterial fillers and adhesive chemistries have significantly improved the electrical and thermal properties of conductive adhesives. Meanwhile, new dispensing methods allowtheir precise automated application.

Going forward, their use in emerging applications like 5G communications, IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, virtual/augmented reality will continue growing. Developments targeting lower cost, higher conductivity, and adhesive strength at thinner bondlines will expand usage further. Overall, electrically conductive adhesives are proving invaluable for product miniaturization and integration across many industries.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it