In times of climate change and increases in energy use, the demands of power modules for the efficient and reliable control of electric motors continue to rise. Modern module concepts are reaching their limits in terms of power density, current carrying capacity, and reliability to increase lifetime and reduce costs. A critical area for improving power modules is the material system used in them, as well as their electrical and thermal interconnection.
The Die Top System (DTS®), jointly developed by Heraeus and Danfoss, offers a performance improvement by enabling copper wire bonding of the substrate. DTS® is custom designed for the specific substrate layout and consists of a 50 µm thin copper plate with pre-applied sinter paste. The innovative system of copper wires, DTS® and sintered connection to the substrate replaces traditional materials such as aluminum bonding wires and solder pastes. This is a revolutionary step in the assembly and connection technology of power modules.
By harmonizing the materials, the electrical and thermal conductivity as well as the reliability of the die-connection is greatly improved, and the module performance is increased by 30 percent. This gives automotive manufacturers more freedom in terms of design, as they can achieve the same performance with smaller modules and less installation space is required. The system is used by Heraeus’ customer Danfoss in the power modules they manufacture as “Danfoss Bond Buffer” (DBB). Other customers are already waiting in the wings to use DTS® in series production.
Opening of a new production line
On Friday April 15, 2022, Jan Rinnert, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and CEO of Heraeus Holding, Claus A. Petersen, CEO of Danfoss Silicon Power, , who participated virtually, and Siegbert Haumann, Vice President Automotive at Danfoss, jointly opened a new production line for the new Heraeus Electronics product at the Hanau site.
The production site in Hanau was specifically chosen to keep transport distances to sub-suppliers more manageable. The substrates are manufactured on site using the Industry 4.0 standard, in which the networking of the machines used in the production process ensures traceability of each manufacturing step. Due to the strong growth in demand already and the associated increase in production volumes, the construction of a second line is planned for 2023.
“With the opening of this new production line, Danfoss and Heraeus are making an important contribution to further the development of electromobility in Europe,” said Jan Rinnert, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and CEO of Heraeus Holding. “This will allow us to significantly improve the range and performance of electric vehicles through our system, while strengthening the automotive industry’s intra-European supply chains.”
Claus A. Petersen, Managing Director of Danfoss Silicon Power, was also enthusiastic about the cooperation with Heraeus: “The demand for electric vehicles is growing by leaps and bounds. Through collaborations like the one between Heraeus and Danfoss, we are able to deliver our world-class technologies in large quantities for the benefit of end-users and participate in the green transformation towards a sustainable future.”
Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned portfolio company. The company’s roots go back to a family pharmacy started in 1660. Today, the Heraeus group includes businesses in the environmental, electronics, health, and industrial applications sectors. Customers benefit from innovative technologies and solutions based on broad materials expertise and technological leadership. In the 2020 financial year, the FORTUNE Global 500 listed group generated revenues of €31.5 billion with approximately 14,800 employees in 40 countries. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany and holds a leading position in its global markets. Heraeus Electronics, a global business unit of Heraeus, is an expert for materials and matched material solutions for the electronics packaging.