On July 1, 2006, the European Union adopted new regulations (RoHS), requiring the use of lead-free solders in the manufacture of electronic products. Similar legislation is pending in China. Because lead-free solders melt at higher temperatures, solder reflow assembly will require temperatures of up to 260°C (500°F).
Oak Ridge Micro-Energy's patented thin-film lithium-ion batteries were designed to exceed the new stringent requirements of solder reflow assembly. They can withstand temperatures above 285°C (545°F) in a discharged state. Conventional lithium-ion batteries cannot survive temperatures much above 130°C.
Circuit boards in electronic products are fabricated using a process known as solder reflow, or surface-mount assembly. In this process, individual electronic components are positioned over solder paste on the circuit board, and the board is pulled through an oven so that all of the components are soldered in place at the same time.
In recent tests, ORME's manufactured batteries subjected to three successive reflow processes at temperatures of 265°C (509°F) showed less than a 10% average change in performance. Stricter controls on the packaging steps are expected to eliminate any significant changes in performance.
"Our thin-film lithium-ion batteries are uniquely suited for integration into electronic products that must meet the new EU mandated environmental standards," stated Mark Meriwether, president and CEO of Oak Ridge Micro-Energy. "The continuous miniaturization of electronic products and the stringent requirements of their manufacture presents us with virtually unlimited market opportunities."
About Oak Ridge Micro-Energy Inc.
Oak Ridge Micro-Energy Inc. develops and produces custom-designed, thin-film lithium and lithium-ion batteries ideally suited for a variety of applications where a small power source is needed. These batteries can be fabricated on a variety of substrates, as well as onto chips, chip carriers, or multichip module packages. By using the available space on a ceramic package or a silicon die, the battery can provide the required power while occupying otherwise wasted space and adding negligible mass. The company's batteries are intended for applications such as wireless sensors that operate in harsh environments, semiconductor diagnostic wafers, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, semiconductor nonvolatile memory chips, and advanced medical devices. Initial production will target specialized high-margin markets. Expansion of the company's manufacturing capacity, internally and through strategic partnerships, will allow Oak Ridge Micro-Energy to reduce manufacturing costs and penetrate larger markets.
The company maintains R&D and manufacturing facilities in Oak Ridge, TN., and additional offices in Salt Lake City. Detailed information about Oak Ridge Micro-Energy Inc. may be obtained by visiting the company's Web site.