Monday, December 21, 2015

Picosun is bringing ALD technology to Outer Space

Spaceworthy encapsulants from Picosun

Picosun Oy, leading supplier of highest quality Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) thin film coating solutions for industrial manufacturing, successfully applies ALD technology to protect sensitive electronic components against harsh environmental conditions.


ALD oxide nanolaminates developed by Picosun have been proven to efficiently protect printed circuit board (PCB) components from aging effects such as corrosion and tin whisker formation. Corrosion typically occurs on the interface between the board and the component. Gaps in the solder tin covering the sharp edges of the component’s conducting pins may leave them vulnerable against environmental factors such as humidity, liquid and gaseous impurities. This is particularly detrimental in several high end applications where unfaltering component performance is required, such as in aerospace electronics. ALD forms ultra-thin, hermetic, inert, flexible, and protective film over the whole board, isolating even the most sensitive points from the ambient conditions. Due to the nanometer-scale thickness, the ALD film has negligible impact on the PCB functionality.

“Production-scale processing of PCBs requires production-optimized ALD technology. Picosun has unmatched and the most comprehensive expertise in providing large scale ALD solutions to various industries, not only to semiconductor and IC manufacturing but also for protection of 3D items – coins, watch and jewelry parts, and medical implants being just a few examples. Expanding our business to PCB encapsulation is yet another example of ALD’s penetration throughout the spectrum of today’s industrial manufacturing”, states Juhana Kostamo, Managing Director of Picosun. 

The Picosun-ESA contract is a part of an activity funded by the ESA programmes European Component Initiative Phase 4 and Strategic Initiative. Disclaimer: The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.