My team came across an interesting article the other day from IEEE Spectrum that talked about the recent advent of Mini-LEDs. A lot of thought has been put into Mini-LEDs and LEDs in general at Indium Corporation already, check out Product Development Specialist Claire Hotvedt’s recent thoughts on our new Durafuse LT solder and its applications in LED light bulbs. There’s more to LEDs than light bulbs though, they’re getting smaller and smaller, which is where my team’s products come into play.
Mini-LEDs (not to be confused with microLEDs, the difference between the two is another topic entirely!) are being increasingly used in displays due to the fact that using hundreds or thousands of small LEDs to use as a backlight in conjunction with LCD display panels provides very high contrast ratios, deep blacks, and high dynamic ranges. You really see the benefits when playing PC games that are HDR-compatible, which many newer games are, including the newest Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed games.
The article goes into the benefits of Mini-LEDs over the current benchmark Organic LEDs, or OLEDs (which are LEDs but use organic material as the conducting material instead of a semiconductor). OLEDs have greater contrast than Mini-LED technology since the emitted comes directly from the OLED and doesn’t travel through the LCD. However, Mini-LEDs have a slight advantage in the brightness department and are much cheaper, with Mini-LED monitors being between $500 and $1,000 cheaper than their OLED counterparts.
So where does Indium Corporation fit into all of this? Our suite of semiconductor and advanced assembly materials are ideal for Mini-LED assembly. Many Mini-LEDs need to be packed together, and the soldering pads of these Mini-LEDs need to be very small accordingly, in the range of less than 200 microns. Indium Corporation’s SiPaste solder paste materials feature excellent printability and are compatible with the fine powder sizes necessary for Mini-LED assembly, in order to fit through the stencil during stencil printing onto these small pads. Our SiPaste solder pastes are also available in both water-soluble and no-clean varieties, with our benign residue no-cleans being especially good for Mini-LED assembly due to the difficulty in cleaning the PCB post-reflow at these small pad sizes and tight pitches.
Indium Corporation’s advanced assembly fluxes are also a great fit for Mini-LED assembly! Our LED Tacflux 007 is the leading die-attach flux for the LED industry; it’s a high activity flux that’s easily cleanable with standard solvents, and it’s also able to withstand high temperatures, particularly important with soldering to gold-tin alloys, which is common for LED dies. Our ULR residue flip-chip fluxes also fit this assembly well, with our fluxes solving common issues in mini-LED assembly such as die shift (with such small pad pitch any die movement is dangerous), and electrical open issues (with strong wetting power).
The adoption of Mini-LED technology is coming quickly, and Indium Corporation is more than equipped to light the way for LED manufacturing.