Anisotropic Conducive Pastes are a growing alternative to Anisotropic Conductive Films.
ACP is a dispensible and/or printable anisotropically conductive adhesive that is most often used in low cost flip chip assembly or as a replacement for solder in certain SMT applications. It is typically an epoxy-based adhesive, and as with all anisotropic conductive materials is loaded with conductive particles that provide the electrical interconnection after assembly is completed.
ACP has gained ground against ACF due in large part to the slightly lower cost of implementation. Unlike films, anisotropic conductive pastes can be applied using existing dispenser tools commonly found in SMT or chip packaging factories. The concept of using a paste is also easy to understand for a designer or engineer that is used to using solder pastes or underfill materials, while a film requires some new techniques and may not at first feel as comfortable.
ACPs are also slightly less expensive to purchase than films because of the additional manufacturing steps required to cast a film and then slit it to the required width. Combined with the ability to use some existing infrastructure, this often creates an environment where people focus on the initial costs instead of the longer term running costs. While ACPs certainly have some advantages over film, they typically have a higher running cost due to the more difficuly handling, shorter pot life, and more stringent storage requirements when compared to films.
Ito Group has worked with ACPs for 20 years and understands them better than anyone. We can supply dispense systems, printing systems, the ACP materials themselves, and, of course, the mounters and bonders required to complete the assembly. Please contact one of our salespeople to discuss your application and determine whether anisotropic pastes are indeed a good possible solution for your requirements.