Semiconductors are what have made most of today’s technological advances possible, from the internet to smartphones, they have enabled engineering breakthrough products.
Typically, silicon has been used as the ‘go-to’ material in all things electronic due to its excellent semi-conductivity.
However, as a result of an increasingly competitive market, the need for a better, faster, stronger material has arisen. As plastics are typically insulators, they seem an unlikely candidate for use in semiconductor / electrical applications. However, in recent years, the composition of some plastic materials has been adapted to make these plastic materials behave as conductors or semi-conductors as opposed to insulators.
Benefits of Using Plastic
Plastics offer numerous benefits in their use as semiconductors and electrical components:
The process of extracting and purifying silicon to the extent required for semiconductor manufacturing is expensive. In comparison plastics are relatively cheap to manufacture. Furthermore, the cost of processing raw silicon into a finished product is much more expensive and complicated than the process required for plastic, which can be done with a technique similar to inkjet printing.
Plastics are undoubtedly tougher and more flexible than silicon which helps to improve production life through parts that wear longer.
3. ESD Prevention
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) costs the semiconductor industry over $4 billion in lost profits each year with around 25% of all components failures attributed to ESD. The benefit of using plastics in respect to this is that they can be static dissipative and help to reduce the number of ESD events, therefore, saving the industry billions.
Semiconductor Plastic Materials
Quadrant EPP have developed their own semiconductor grade of products known as Semitron® which were developed to help designers and users optimize the performance of device manufacturing equipment. In addition to device manufacture,a lot of these materials are ideal for specific environments where wear-resistance, chemical-resistance and the management of static electricity are required.
Semitron® MP 370
Semitron® MP 370 offers more choices in the design and manufacture of precision test sockets for the semiconductor manufacture industry.
Semitron® MDS 100
Semitron® MDS 100 has a remarkable combination of strength, stiffness and stability. It was developed to be used in uncontrolled application environments or where a high level of precision is required. It is an ideal choice for semiconductor test sockets, nests and fixtures in test and package equipment.
In addition to Semitron®, other materials suitable for semiconductor and electrical applications include: Techtron® PPS, Ketron® 1000 PEEK, Ertalyte@ PET-P and Duratron® PAI.
Antistatic (ESD/Static Dissipative) Plastics
Contact or continuous rubbing of two insulative materials can produce potentially dangerous arcing. This is because static build-up is insulated against finding a path to discharge from the mating contact surfaces. Most plastic materials are “insulators” and are prone to this problem. As a result, static control solutions are typically required in applications such as sensitive electrical assembly fixturing or chip carriers; high-speed printer parts; medical electronic assemblies; and material handling components.
SciCron Technologies Antistatic Acrylic and Polycarbonate
Acrylic AC-300™ and Polycarbonate PC-350™
- AC-300™ and PC-350™ are premium quality acrylic and polycarbonate sheets respectively, coated with SciCron Technologies clear C-300™ / C-350™ static dissipative coatings. These coatings prevent charge generation on the sheet surfaces and thereby control particulate attraction and prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD).
Quadrant EPP’s Range of Semitron® ESD Products
In addition to their standard semiconductor grades of Semitron®, Quadrant also offers ESD grades of Semitron®:
- Semitron® ESd 225 Static Dissipative Acetal – This tan, acetal-based material is an excellent general purpose fixturing material for applications up to 225F with good wear resistance.
- Semitron® ESd 300 Static Dissipative PET-P – This black, polyester-based compound is an excellent step up product from Semitron ESd225 if you are looking for a material with low moisture absorption, higher stiffness, improved dimensional stability, or tighter machined tolerances. It can meet your ESD needs up to 240F.
- Semitron® ESd 410C / 420 Static Dissipative PEI – This black, polyetherimide-based material is capable of bleeding away a surface charge faster than previous grades; offers improved tight tolerance machining and stiffness; and will perform in your applications up to 410F.
- Semitron® ESd 480 Static Dissipative PEEK – This PEEK grade is a step up from the previous grades, exhibiting excellent chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, high stiffness, and excellent machinability. It is black in color and can be used in applications up to 500F.
- Semitron® ESd 500HR Static Dissipative PTFE – With an excellent combination of low frictional properties and dimensional stability, this PTFE grade is an ideal replacement for standard PTFE where a controlled bleed of static charges is desired. It is white in colour and can be used in applications up to 500F.
- Semitron® ESd 520HR Static Dissipative PAI – This is Quadrant’s highest temperature ESD material, good for applications up to 510F. This compound has the unique ability to resist dielectric breakdown at high voltages (>100 volts), making it an ideal material for automated test handlers.
Enquire about Semitron® here.
Semitron® is a registered trademark of the Quadrant group of companies.
AC-300™ and PC-350™ are registered trademarks of SciCron Technologies.