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DOTTORATO DI RICERCA "Improving High-Speed Data Transfer with Ultra-Thin PCBs"

Pubblicato: Lunedì 8 luglio 2024 da Stefania Beolè

PhD 40th cycle Unibz+Unitn+FBK

Title:

Improving High-Speed Data Transfer with Ultra-Thin PCBs

Link where to apply: LINK 3

Deadline: 11 Luglio 2024

Supervisor: Prof.ssa Luisa Petti (UniBZ) contact: luisa.petti@unibz.it

External Supervisor: Dr. David Novel (FBK) contact: novel@fbk.eu

Co-Supervisor: Prof. Philippe Velha (UNITN) contact: philippe.velha@unitn.it

Abstract:

The proposed topic of the thesis is related to ultra-thin PCBs, tailored for applications where

intricate designs demand cutting-edge space optimization, such as in satellite payloads or

large-scale scientific experiments. In detector systems, minimizing PCB thickness is often

necessary to reduce dead material in the active region, where the sensor is highly sensitive to

any perturbations. This is crucial for both space-based and ground-based scientific experiments.

The PhD candidate will undertake a comprehensive study encompassing (i) design and

simulation, (ii) manufacturing and (iii) experimental campaigns for the high-frequency

characterization (up to 30 GHz) of custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and various bonding

schemes to chip-to-flex interconnections.

Ultra-thin PCBs will either be manufactured in FBK via custom patent-pending techniques or by

commercial standards to be used as a benchmark. The candidate will design and simulate the

PCB stack, including differential pairs and controlled impedance routing.

Full process control during manufacturing will enhance the model development, allowing for the

identification of specific contributions from the macroscopic geometric features (such as the

shape of the metal leads) to microscopic elements like lead roughness, grain size (see

Mayadas-Shatzkes model) and bonding types.

The study will explore various bonding techniques, including wire-bonding, TAB bonding and

bump bonding for 3D integration. These techniques differ in materials and bonding geometries,

affecting impedance and signal insertion loss. Thus, developing a computational model (e.g.

using Comsol) and validating it with experimental measurements is critical for selecting the

appropriate electronics design.

By validating the simulated data with VNA measurements, the investigation aims to deepen the

understanding on how each factor included in the model influences the signal integrity of PCBs

in high-frequency applications. Those insights will inform the design of advanced assemblies for

scientific detectors in future experiments at CERN or in space missions conducted by ASI, ESA

and NASA.

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