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Rework Practices for MicroLEDs and Other Highly Miniaturized SMT Components

Rework Practices for MicroLEDs and Other Highly Miniaturized SMT Components
This paper will focus on practices and innovative solutions to successfully repair these miniaturized, sensitive and often fragile components.
Analysis Lab


Authored By:

Neil O’Brien
Robert Avila
Gilbert, AZ, USA


Miniaturization of SMT components has been a continuing trend in all marketplaces, but probably most notable in consumer electronics. Smartphones and the rapid advances in the display market have implemented various microLED’s, as well as small passive devices such as 01005 and 008004 devices.

Packing more miniature devices into less space, results in very challenging rework conditions. Repairing these sites should not create more rework by damaging neighboring components or the substrate. The use of glue and foil shields are not reliable high-yield methods. This challenge requires novel solutions for tooling, site preparation, paste deposition, precise thermal management, as well as high accuracy and optical resolution. This paper will focus on practices and innovative solutions to successfully repair these miniaturized, sensitive and often fragile components. For the general purposes of this paper, miniaturized components are those below 1mm in length and width.


Miniaturization of electronics is a strong driving force in the design and manufacturing of many of today’s products. The advent of microLED technology is a recent example of how fast the market needs can change. Equipment manufacturers must try to adapt and those who can provide the application knowledge and innovative tooling solutions will lead the way. Miniaturization of electronics will continue in all aspects of our lives, from home and business devices to large panel displays that end up in Times Square, New York. Here large LED panels light up the city using millions and millions of pixels.

Just below these billboards are passing cars already equipped with miniaturized control modules, as well as the latest LED technology. The microLED advances are likely to be seen first in the display areas of vehicle data. LED technology is here to stay and will continue to grow with stealth companies emerging from Silicon Valley and elsewhere. With the likelihood of exponential volume growth, it’s no surprise the state of microLED manufacturing will need to evolve at a rapid pace. Rework is a necessary task in such a process. Efficient, repeatable, and high yield solutions are in demand.

Testing and research by rework system manufacturers has resulted in proven rework processes for continually shrinking SMD components. The extreme reduction in size of resistors and capacitors is one of the more significant areas of research during this time. This evolving knowledge and experience has led to volume rework solutions for OEM’s and contract manufacturers worldwide. As shown in this paper, much of what has been learned can now be applied in new ways to support the microLED marketplace.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings


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