Key Research Areas

New methods for materials characterization

Hochfrequenz- Charakterisierung, Design & Optimierung von Packaging-Technologien und Interconnects
© Fraunhofer IZM | Volker Mai

The ongoing miniaturization and advancement of high-frequency electronics poses new challenges to the materials applied in the systems. The issue is particularly evident in dielectric materials, which include substrate materials such as laminates or ceramics, epoxy mold compounds, underfillers, RDL polymers and many more.

A prevailing trend is the development of materials with low permittivity values and, above all, low dielectric losses. Accompanying the materials research, Fraunhofer IZM carries out the characterization of dielectric properties. A multitude of established measurement methods are available in-house. At the same time, research is being carried out to both, improve existing methods and develop new ones since the existing methods reach their limits.

As an example, only a few methods are available for the required high frequencies of automotive radars (77 GHz) and 6G communication systems (110 - 170 GHz). Standardization is already lacking in the lower two-digit GHz range. Therefore, methods have to be scaled and validated.

In addition, a characterization of circuit boards is most valuable if it is performed on wafers or panels whose fabrication originates from standard processes. The approach ensures a characterization close to the actual application and thus the best possible measured values that can later be incorporated into design processes. The CMD Group develops suitable test vehicles for this purpose.

Selected publications

Kanitkar, Abhijeet, et al. "A Comparative Analysis of Two Dielectric Extraction Methods of a PCB Material for D-Band Applications." 2022 IEEE 9th Electronics System-Integration Technology Conference (ESTC). IEEE, 2022. | more info

Kanitkar, Abhijeet, et al. "Temperature Dependent RF Characterization of Thin-Film Polyimide for 5G mmWave Antenna-in-Package Modules." 2022 16th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP). IEEE, 2022. | more info

Köszegi, Julia-Marie, et al. "Split-rings for heterogeneous integration of mm-Wave systems." 2021 23rd European Microelectronics and Packaging Conference & Exhibition (EMPC). IEEE, 2021.

Köszegi, Julia-Marie, et al. "The impact of ageing on the dielectric properties of laminates for 79 ghz automotive radar." 2021 IEEE 71st Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC). IEEE, 2021.

Kanitkar, Abhijeet, et al. "Fork-coupled resonators for characterization of mold material for 5g applications." 2020 23rd International Microwave and Radar Conference (MIKON). IEEE, 2020. | more info

Ndip, Ivan, et al. "A novel packaging and system-integration platform with integrated antennas for scalable, low-cost and high-performance 5G mmWave systems." 2020 IEEE 70th Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC). IEEE, 2020. | more info


Working Group

Communication Module Development

The Communication Module Development Group explores how materials interact with high-frequency waves, including established packaging materials like conventional circuit boards and extending to other materials not primarily meant for packaging, but used in the automotive or communication sectors.