Material Insight

Column from: Dr. Preeya Kuray

Preeya Kuray is a material scientist. She received her PhD in materials science engineering in 2020 from Penn State, where she authored several peer reviewed publications on polymer dynamics and served as vice president of the Materials Research Society student chapter. She currently works on developing low-loss buildup materials at AGC. She looks forward to sharing insights from PCB veterans while incorporating pieces of her perspective as a material scientist PhD and newcomer to the PCB field.

May 17, 2024

Material Insight: The Dielectric Constant of PCB Materials

In the world of PCB design, miniaturization can be achieved by using low dielectric constant (Dk) materials. Low Dk materials can allow for a reduction in thickness while maintaining a given trace width, leading to lower transmission loss and higher density circuitry.
April 12, 2024

Material Insight: The Importance of Standards for the Chip Packaging Industry

I had the great pleasure of recently attending the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) CHIPS R&D Chiplets Interfaces Technical Standards Workshop. The purpose was to bring together technical experts across industry and academia to deliberate one of the most pressing technological matters of 2024: chip packaging standards.
November 28, 2023

Material Insight: A Conversation with Congressman Blake Moore

On May 11, 2023, Reps. Blake Moore (R-UT) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the Protecting Circuit Boards and Substrates (PCB) Act to Congress. In October, I had the great pleasure of discussing the bipartisan Protecting Circuit Boards and Substrates Act with Congressman Moore, who represents Utah’s First Congressional District. He shared his thoughts on how supporting and investing in the domestic PCB industry can help bolster American security.
October 25, 2023

Material Insight: The Material Science of PCB Thermal Reliability

Printed circuit board (PCB) reliability testing is generally performed by exposing the board to various mechanical, electrical, and/or thermal stimuli delineated by IPC standards, and then evaluating any resulting failure modes. Thermal shock testing is one type of reliability test that involves repeatedly exposing the PCB test board to a 288°C pot of molten solder for a specific time (typically 10 seconds) and measuring the number of cycles it takes for a board’s copper layer to separate from the organic dielectric layer. If there is no delamination, fabricators can rest assured that the board will perform within expected temperature tolerances in the real world.
September 11, 2023

Material Insight: India’s Rise in the Global Electronics Ecosystem

From resplendent silks to ornate architectural marvels, India is perhaps best known for her rich cultural heritage. Until the late 1980s, it remained a relatively closed economy. But in 1991, former Prime Minister Rao passed a series of radical economic reforms that opened its doors to foreign trade and investment. Since then, India has been steadily developing into a major economic powerhouse on the global landscape.
July 05, 2023

Material Insight: The Revival of Domestic PCB Fabrication

Harken back to the start of the millennium, which rung in several historically defining events: Ramifications of Y2K were dispelled (to global relief), George Bush defeated Al Gore in the 54th U.S. presidential election, and AOL combined with Time Warner in a $165 billion merger, signaling the convergence of old and new media. This significant moment in history also marked the onset of decay for PCB fabrication in America.
May 23, 2023

Material Insight: My Journey From Atomic Lattices to Circuit Boards

Although I fell into the PCB world somewhat accidentally, I remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to become a material scientist. At an undergraduate engineering information fair, I saw the breadth of research possible within the materials science discipline. Superconductors. Synthesizing gold nanoparticles for cancer cell detection. Organic photovoltaics. It was all endlessly fascinating, and my curiosity drove me to ask, What’s possible? And more importantly, what’s next? I didn’t know the answers. But I knew deep down that I needed to be a part of it.
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