Indium Corporation showcased innovative products for applications ranging from EV manufacturing to mobile devices, 5G wireless technology, and semiconductors at Electronica and Productronica India from September 21–23, 2022, in Greater Noida, India. We had an opportunity to talk to Indium Corporation’s Jonas Sjoberg, Associate Director for Global Technical Service & Application Engineering, and Damian Santhanasamy, Senior Country Sales Manager.
Jonas has more than 25 years of technical experience in the electronics industry, including developing and deploying leading-edge designs and processes for packaging and assembly; managing research and development projects and facilities; and serving as a technical advisor to internal and external design, development, and manufacturing sites worldwide.
Damian’s technical expertise has been an integral part of Indium Corporation’s expansion and success in Asia. Damian joined Indium Corporation in 2006 as a technical engineer for its Asia-Pacific Operations. In 2008, he was promoted to senior technical manager where he was responsible for providing technical support to target
accounts in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as supporting Indium Corporation’s growth and new product development throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Q. Redefine Indium Corporation and its presence globally.
Founded in 1934, Indium Corporation is a premier materials refiner, smelter, manufacturer, and supplier to the global electronics, semiconductor, thin-film, and thermal management markets. Indium Corporation has a portfolio of products including solders and fluxes; brazes; thermal interface materials; sputtering targets; indium,
gallium, germanium, and tin metals and inorganic compounds; and NanoFoil®. It has global technical support and factories located in China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the USA.
Q. In which business segments can Indium Corporation’s products be found today?
Our business segments are:
• Electronics Assembly Materials: By offering a full range of advanced materials and know-how for modern SMT and traditional through-hole production processes, Indium Corporation provides leading-edge materials and technology to solve today’s and tomorrow’s electronics assembly challenges.
• Semiconductor Assembly Materials: For more than 50 years, Indium Corporation has been ahead of our competition globally by working with semiconductor companies and their assembly customers, equipment partners, industry associations, and consortia to support the industry’s need for semiconductor-grade materials
and applications data in the continually evolving semiconductor assembly technology market.
• Engineered Solders and Alloys: Indium Corporation has helped transform industries by increasing electrical performance, enhancing thermal transfer with our Metal Thermal Interface Materials, and drastically strengthening connections through Solder Fortification®. Indium Corporation also supplies nanotechnology materials such as NanoFoil®, which is used for NanoBond®. This material is used in PCB, thermal, and target bonding applications.
• Metals and Compounds: Indium Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of commercial grade and high-purity indium metal. From mine to product packaging, we set the standard for the processing of indium, germanium, gallium, and tin, and their chemical compounds. Customers specify Indium Corporation materials due to our world-class consistency, quality, dependability, and performance.
Q. What products you have highlighted at Productronica India 2022? Kindly elaborate.
Indium Corporation has showcased different verticals at Productronica India 2022, which are:
Mobile devices are facing higher demands than ever—better cameras, better displays, and better battery life—all compacted into increasingly smaller spaces. Indium Corporation delivers electronics packaging and assembly materials such as fine powders for fine-feature printing or jetting and microdispensing, as well as innovative products for system-in-packaging assembly that can help overcome miniaturization challenges.
• Durafuse™ LT Low-Temperature Drop Shock Solution: Durafuse™ LT is a novel alloy system for low-temperature reflow processes which require high drop shock reliability. Durafuse™ LT is made up of a low-melting In-containing alloy and a higher-melting SAC alloy. The SnInAg alloy initiates joint fusion while the SAC alloy provides enhanced strength and durability. Durafuse™ LT is ideal for high-reliability applications, which utilize thermally sensitive components.
• LV2K Flux Coating: LV2K flux coating is an ultra-low-voiding formula designed to improve performance and reduce process variability. Coupled with an improved coating process, LV2K can be controlled well within the standard 0.5% weight tolerance limit and ensures a complete and uniform coating. LV2K capabilities cover most geometries and sizes and allow for a precise flux content to minimize volatiles while removing surface oxides. LV2K is a high-performance, halide-free flux that meets the J-STD-004B ROL0 requirement. With precise control of flux content and ultra-low voiding, this next-generation flux coating will help optimize the process.
• Indium10.8HF Pb-Free Solder Paste: Indium10.8HF is an air reflow, no-clean solder paste specifically formulated to accommodate the higher processing temperatures required by the SnAgCu, SnAg, and other alloy systems favoured by the electronics industry to replace conventional Pb-bearing solders. Indium10.8HF offers
unprecedented stencil print transfer efficiency to work in the broadest range of processes.
- Rel-ionTM Technology for Electric Vehicles: More than two million EVs are on the street with Indium Corporation’s Rel-ion™ suite of products. Rel-ion™ material solutions deliver reliability by:
• Eliminating non-wet opens and head-in-pillow defects
• Preventing dendritic growth by meeting stricter surface insulation resistance requirements
• Preventing solder delamination with precise bondline control and increased creep and fatigue resistance
• Reducing hot spots-induced voiding through improved thermal efficiency
- Ball-Attach Fluxes: The ball-attach process can be considered a trivial step when creating a BGA or similar package, but the final soldering step can be rather complex. There are several variables that impact the final ball-attach performance from a number of assembly processes carried out before that.
Q. What highlights has Indium Corporation shown at this event regarding the semiconductor industry?
We have a leading track record when it comes to the semiconductor industry because of our experience, proven materials, and technical expertise. For example, our soldering materials for heterogeneous integration and assembly (HIA) and system-in-package (SiP) applications have a proven record of success in more than two billion front-end module SiP devices manufactured over the last few years.
From water-soluble to no-clean soldering solutions, Indium Corporation’s portfolio of products meets current and evolving challenges encountered in fine-pitch SiP and HIA applications.
Q. The Indian automotive industry is large, so how has Indium Corporation been focusing on this sector in a scenario when EVs are swiftly steering the market?
The latest trends in the automotive electronics industry have led to increasing numbers of components for automobile innovations and new features. The continuing miniaturization of electronics to accommodate all the components must be more reliable than ever before. Components need to stand up to temperature swings, mechanical shock, vibration, high-power voltage, humidity, extreme environmental conditions, and higher-density circuit boards, to name a few. Indium Corporation offers a suite of proven materials that are the solutions to overcoming these reliability challenges.
• Indium8.9HF Pb-Free Solder Paste: Indium8.9HF is an air reflow, no-clean solder paste specifically formulated to accommodate the higher processing temperatures required by the SnAgCu, SnAg, and other alloy systems favoured by the electronics industry to replace conventional Pb-bearing solders. Indium8.9HF offers unprecedented stencil print transfer efficiency to work in the broadest range of processes. In addition, the high probe testability of Indium8.9HF minimizes false failures in ICT. It is one of our lowest voiding pastes.
• Durafuse™ LT: Durafuse™ LT is a novel solder paste mixed-alloy system for low-temperature reflow processes which require high drop shock reliability. Durafuse™ LT is made up of a low-melting In-containing alloy and a higher-melting SAC alloy. The SnInAg alloy initiates joint fusion while the SAC alloy provides enhanced strength and durability. Durafuse™ LT is ideal for high-reliability applications, which utilize thermally sensitive components.
• InFORMS® are reinforced matrixed solder composites. This process produces a reinforced solder fabrication with improved strength and creates a more consistent bond line thickness. A uniform bond line maximizes the thermal and mechanical reliability in the solder joint, therefore producing solder joints that are higher in reliability. InFORMS® can be manufactured into a wide variety of shapes, including rectangles, discs, and custom shapes, to suit specific application requirements. InFORMS® are also available in ribbon form for automated assembly.
• Indalloy®133 (95Sn/5Sb) is a common lead-free solder. Antimony added to tin increases the melting temperature rather than forming a lower-melting eutectic. The stability of the SnSb intermetallic compound (IMC) is an advantage in higher-temperature applications where the stability of SnAgCu (SAC) alloys is marginal. The tin matrix of the SnSb alloy remains ductile while the 3% Sb in solution provides solid solution strengthening. The grain refining effects of the IMC promote toughness at low temperatures associated with finer grain sizes.
• InTACK™ is a no-clean, no-residue, halogen-free material designed to affix solder preforms, chips, or dies in position after placement to prevent skewing and misalignment during power module manufacturing. It provides a strong bond and extends the working time, maintaining its tacking properties throughout the assembly process and up to the final stage of the reflow cycle. Designed specifically for no-flux reflow with formic acid, InTACK™ results in a residue-free assembly for high soldering quality without any additional post-process cleaning steps. When applied with InFORMS® solder preforms, InTACK™ offers a complementary solution to improve reliability for power module soldering.
• Power Electronics Solutions: Indium Corporation is the leader in power electronics assembly materials as a variety of industries—including automotive, transportation, computing, and energy infrastructure—demand more from power electronics systems.
Q. Can you elaborate on Indium Corporation’s recent developments?
Recently, Indium Corporation has expanded its Rome, NY manufacturing facility. The 24,000-square-foot expansion is expected to have a significant economic impact on the city of Rome. It represents an investment of
more than USD 10 million into the local economy and the company expects to hire 300 employees over the next two years, with many roles needed immediately. In addition, the expansion brings the number of processes executed at the facility to 25 with more than 175 pieces of manufacturing equipment.
Indium Corporation along with a startup, SAFI-Tech, has launched a new supercooled BiSn solder paste using SAFI-Tech’s innovative solder platform. SAFI-Tech’s supercooled BiSn solder paste can be fluxed and reflowed at 135°C, a temperature that is currently impossible to reach using conventional BiSn solder alloys.
Indium Corporation’s Brian O’Leary, global head of e-Mobility and infrastructure, has delivered the keynote presentation on market trends in the thriving electric vehicle (EV) landscape at the Surface Mount Technology Association’s (SMTA) LA/OC Expo & Tech Forum.
Q. Over the years, what has been the Indium Corporation’s goal?
The goal of Indium Corporation is to increase its customers’ productivity and profitability through the design, application, and service of advanced materials. “We Believe that Materials Science Changes the World.” Almost every great advancement in technology can be attributed to a breakthrough in materials science. Since the company’s founding in 1934, Indium Corporation has been driven by its curiosity to look at materials from a different perspective—transforming the ordinary into the unexpected.
Q. What makes Indium Corporation participate in this event, and what memories will you take back from this trade show?
Productronica has always been an important trade show for Indium Corporation. While we did participate in a number of virtual events, we have always felt that nothing can ever replace or even come close to a face-to-face interaction and what better place to do this than Productronica?
Lots of memories, for sure. Although we started travelling to meet our customers a while back, we met many customers and industry friends after almost three years. The new part was the focus on semiconductors in some of the conferences and we are excited to see where India goes with the massive support from the government to promote semiconductor manufacturing in India.
Q. How is Indium Corporation positioned to support the region’s growing need for consumer and infrastructure electronics with its facility in Chennai, India?
We are well-positioned to deal with the challenges that consumer and infrastructure electronics bring to the fore. We have the products and years of experience globally in dealing with some of the biggest challenges that these industries face. We have a great sales and tech team in India and with support from our global team, we can ensure that we exceed the customers’ expectations. Manufacturing-wise, our factory has the capacity to meet the immediate surge in demand and our management is open to expansion as and when the need arises.
Q. How is Indium Corporation collaborating with customers and partners on the challenges faced by the industry?
Some of our top-selling products (name a few products) have been developed in collaboration with our customers and industry partners. It’s usually driven by a customer sharing some issue for which they do not find a desirable solution. We then take it back to R&D and work closely with the customer in developing a solution. There are so many examples of this. In India, too, we have been seeing a desire from customers to collaborate and who knows, we may have our next big product coming out of a joint collaboration with a customer in India!