Swiss breakthrough in polymers could lead to bendable tablets, smartphones

February 03, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
Swiss-based multinational Lonza is introducing ultra-low loss and high temperature thermoset materials developed by 'system solution' polymer material company Novoset, LLC which look like paving the way to the advent of bendable tablets and smartphones.

The thermoset resins, based on Cyanate ester (CE) chemistry, are ideal materials for the telecommunication and advanced semiconductor packaging industries.

Primaset ULL-950 is suitable for high-performance applications such as power amplifiers for 4G LTE and 4G LTE advanced base stations for smartphones, internet infrastructure and high-layer count servers for cloud computing. Low dielectric properties coupled with high a Glass transition temperature (Tg) makes the Primaset HTL-300 thermoset resin an ideal candidate for advanced IC substrates for semiconductor packaging materials and next generation application processors for mobile chips.

“We can design and fabricate high-layer count ultra-low dielectric boards without using Teflon. Primaset ULL-950’s electrical performance is similar to Polytetrafluoroethylene, it can be processed as easy as FR-4 technology and reaches Tg of Cyanate esters or Polyimides,” explained Dr. Sajal Das, President & CEO of Novoset. “We are getting close to fabricating bendable tablets, smartphones and other devices from high temperature thermosets such as derivatives of Primaset ULL-950 and Primaset HTL-300 in the foreseeable future.”

Depending on the backbone structure Primaset ULL-950 has a dissipation factor (Df) ranging from 0.0009 to 0.003 and dielectric constant (Dk) between 2.3 - 2.6 up to 40 GHz. The Tg can vary between 175 - 320°C. High temperature bendable devices can be fabricated utilizing its flexibility. The products also exhibit low moisture uptake and short lamination cycles. The high temperature capabilities and toughness are critical for lead-free assemblies in PCB and build-up films.

Better known globally as a producer of biopharmaceutical ingredients, Lonza is Novoset’s manufacturing partner and is hoping to open up a new dimension to the
company's business activities. Perhaps it is a case of switching from one form of tablet (the pharmaceutical kind) to another sort of tablet (the bendable computing kind).

The ULL-950 and HTL-300 were developed at the Novoset Technology Center in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, USA. Lonza will manufacture and market the two
products globally under the Primaset trade name.