Metallurgy meets Microelectronics

Have you ever inspected inside of any electronic devices? If so, you might have noticed a green board similar to the one shown in the picture with a lot of components and chips being connected to it and to each other via wires and solder bumps, etc. At first look, you might think that those connections and circuits and chips are all about electronics and electrical engineering. But in reality, multiple disciplines of engineering have to come together to make the final product function as required and metallurgy is surely one of those disciplines.

pcb

an example of printed circuit board, photo via wikimedia commons

When it comes to the reliability and performance of our electronic devices, interconnect system is a major role player. It is the job of the interconnect system to keep components in place in addition to transmitting electronic signals. Moreover, heat generation is inevitable while transmitting electronic signals. Therefore, the interconnect system has to provide heat dissipation function as well. With such critical roles to play, hence, one can conclude that a reliable functioning of our electronic devices largely depends on the interconnect system. If one component gets disconnected it can create disaster and paralyse the entire system. Providing mechanical and thermal support in addition to signal transmission however has got its route in physical and mechanical metallurgy of the interconnect materials and this is where metallurgy intervene. So watch this space if you are interested to find out more.

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