Packaging Lab Established
A new laboratory where researchers from several disciplines can work on electronics packaging issues has been established within the Department.
Packaging, or the interconnecting of components, is of growing concern as electronics systems get more compact and complex. The increased density raises issues such as excessive heat, unplanned parasitic capacitance and inductance, thermal stress, bonding reliability and others.
The new Packaging Laboratory draws on expertise from power electronics, microelectronics, materials engineering and mechanical engineering. A number of projects are already planning to use the laboratory, including Power Electronics Building Blocks, interlayer adhesion studies, thermal characterization, and power system integration, according to Dr. Allan Ward, the newly appointed research coordinator and manager of the laboratory.
The laboratory is on the sixth floor of Whittemore Hall and, when complete, will house electrical miniaturization, electroplating, and mechanical fabrication areas along with a permanent class 1000 clean room containing polymer processing equipment. Drying ovens and a firing furnace also will be available for metal and ceramics work.
Funding and equipment is from several sources: the Virginia State Council on Higher Education (SCHEV), the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Office of Naval Research. Roanoke ITT has donated a three-zone tube furnace to VPEC, which will be used in the laboratory. EE faculty involved in the laboratory are: Dusan Borojevic, Aicha Elshabini-Riad, Fred Lee, and G.Q. Lu.