Gold Wire Vs. Copper Wire LED Displays

Introduction

LED screens have become an indispensable part of modern life, from television displays to outdoor billboards. A key aspect of LED screen manufacturing is LED packaging, which connects LED chips to their display’s power supply. As LED display manufacturers strive to maximize production costs and performance while cutting production costs further, various packaging materials, including gold wire and copper wire, have been used over time by manufacturers – this blog explores their differences.

What Is LED Screen Gold Wire, Alloy Wire, and Copper Wire?

LED package

 LED screen gold wire, alloy wire, and copper wire refer to bonding wires within pixel points (LED chips). These bonding wires are a crucial purpose by connecting LED emitting chips directly to each pixel point (LED chip) providing electrical energy for illumination. They play an essential part in determining the luminosity of pixel points (LED chips). Modern LED displays typically utilize bonding wires made of gold wire, alloy wire, or copper wire; their material choice has an immense effect on their performance as well as the overall functioning of an LED screen itself.

LED Packaging Materials: Gold Wire, Alloy Wire, and Copper Wire

Gold Wire:

Material: Gold wire is composed of 99.99% pure gold with excellent resistance to oxidation, making it highly stable and reliable.

Pressure Resistance: Gold wire provides exceptional pressure resistance with minimal chip failures during stress tests. Conductivity: Gold wire boasts excellent conductivity. Production Process: Its stability makes handling during packaging processes simple for efficient bonding processes.

Lifespan: Gold wire bonding is highly secure and reliable, boasting a one-in-a-million pixel failure rate. This extends its lifespan significantly.

Gold wire bonding maintains stable and uniform brightness and color accuracy for an improved viewing experience, helping reduce issues such as flickering, color patches, dead pixels, and color shifts on screens. 

Alloy Wire: 

Material: Alloy wire is composed of gold and silver with trace amounts of palladium or other elements, which make up its makeup.

Oxidation Resistance: Alloy wire may exhibit some tendency for oxidation over time, making it less stable than gold wire.

Pressure Resistance: Alloy wire’s pressure resistance is lower, leading to an increased chip failure rate.

Conductivity: Alloy wire offers good conductivity. In terms of the production process, however, alloy wire requires using protective gases during its manufacturing, which increases technical requirements while decreasing stability compared to gold wire.

Lifespan: Alloy wire has less stability due to its oxidation tendencies, leading to shorter lifespan compared with gold wire. Failure Rate: Due to its higher hardness and bonding difficulties, alloy wire has a higher pixel failure rate compared with gold wire.

Uniform Brightness and Color Accuracy: Bonding with alloy wire is less reliable, resulting in significant wavelength variations and higher light decay that cause screen issues.

Copper Wire:

This material includes single-crystal copper wire as well as palladium-coated copper wire.

Oxidation Resistance: The copper wire has poor oxidation resistance. 

Pressure Resistance: Due to poor pressure resistance, copper wire has an extremely high chip failure rate.

Conductivity: Copper wire offers excellent conductivity. Production Process: Copper’s rigidity makes it suitable for fine lead bonding applications; however, bonding requires precision and can lack stability during its production process.

Lifespan: Copper wire is vulnerable to oxidation and instability, increasing its failure probability and shortening its lifespan. Failure Rate: Copper wire’s hard surface makes bonding difficult and increases pixel failure rates significantly.

Uniform Brightness and Color Accuracy: Copper wire bonding instability causes significant wavelength variations and light decay, disrupting screen uniformity. 

Comparison of Gold Wire and Copper Wire LED Screens Manufacturing

LED Packaging processes are an integral component of LED production, and among various packaging techniques used, gold wire packaging is widely considered the superior approach due to its use of high-purity gold wire (typically 99.9% pure). Unfortunately, however, its cost remains prohibitively expensive; consequently many top LED display manufacturers have turned to copper wire packaging, which uses copper as a cost-cutting alternative to gold wire. Technology advancement has seen improvements made with copper packaging methods, but some issues exist when comparing gold and copper LED screen packaging solutions.

Material- and technical-related challenges

Copper wire packaging has many material- and technical-related challenges, particularly at its solder points.

  • aluminum layer damage may occur at solder points where aluminum layer thickness falls under 1 um;
  • solder joint defects due to bonding copper wire to substrate can result in crescent-shaped cracks or damage that compromises soldering
  • poor soldering and potential reliability issues for customer usage. 

Copper wire tends to oxidize more readily than gold wire, which can result in the deformation of bonding balls, reducing product yield as well as impurities such as fluorine present on pads further diminish its reliability.

Production-related problems

Other than technical concerns, production-related problems arise as well. Equipment Mean Time Between Assists (MTBA) tends to decrease significantly compared to gold wire packaging, decreasing production capacity. Training of operators and technicians takes longer, requiring higher skill levels compared to the soldering gold wire; the initial impact of production capacity; material mix-ups can occur, which result in higher consumables costs.

The tool life of copper wire cutters tends to diminish by half or more when compared with gold wire, adding complexity in production control as well as increased costs, initially impacting production capacity.

Customer specific issues

At last, there are customer-specific issues. Customers with higher quality and reliability requirements tend to accept copper wire packaging more slowly.

Overall, copper wire packaging technology will continue to advance and address its disadvantages when compared with gold wire LED screens, representing a major step forward in LED technology.

Comparison of Gold Wire and Copper Wire LED Display

FeatureGold Wire LED ScreenCopper Wire LED Screen
ConnectivityGold has an electrical conductivity of 4.11×10^7 S/m and a thermal conductivity of 318 W/mK.Copper has an electrical conductivity of 5.96×10^7 S/m and a thermal conductivity of 401 W/mK.
LifespanMore reliable, especially in unstable environments due to low oxidation.More prone to oxidation and may fail sooner in unstable environments.
PriceMore expensive due to higher reliability and stability, especially in unstable environments.Less expensive but with concerns regarding reliability and lifespan in certain applications.
Physical PropertyHighly stable physical property, performing well in harsh environments.Less stable, easily oxidized outdoors making them less durable for outdoor usage.
SizesLarger LED chip size, leading to high brightness and less LED Display screen power consumption. Better heat dissipation.Smaller LED chip size, leading to potentially less efficient brightness and heat dissipation.
Lamp BracketsUses copper lamp brackets, aiding in better heat dissipation and durability.Encapsulated with iron brackets, which are less effective in heat dissipation and may rust.
Overall DurabilityMore durable and long-term serving, especially with better heat dissipation.Less durable, especially outdoors due to oxidation and less effective heat dissipation.

Why Choose Gold Wire COB LED Screens

P4 indoor retails LED display

COB (Chip-on-Board) LED screens require durable and reliable components. Although their lifespan should theoretically exceed 100,000 hours, actual usage often reduces this period due to factors such as component aging in high-light environments.

IAMLEDWALL has developed a COB gold wire packaging solution to address the challenges associated with LED aging. Utilizing gold wire that meets or surpasses purity levels of 99.99% or greater ensures stable bonding and exceptional performance.

Advantages of choosing IAMLEDWALL’s gold wire LED Screen solution:

Material Quality: Gold wire is known for being highly flexible and stable, providing reliable connections.

Oxidation Resistance: Gold wire boasts superior oxidation resistance, helping prevent contact degradation.Gold wire’s high-pressure resistance reduces the risk of chip failures even under high-stress conditions, helping ensure chip continuity.

Conductivity: Gold wire of LED screen provides exceptional conductivity, supporting efficient power transmission.

Production Process: Gold wire LED manufacturing is an intuitive process without the need for inert gas protection, creating an easy and effective manufacturing environment.

Lifespan: Gold wire’s durability and low failure rate guarantee it a longer lifespan.

Failure Rate of Gold Wire Bonding: Gold wire of LED screen provides secure and stable connections, with an expected pixel failure rate of under one out of every million pixels.

Uniform Brightness and Color Accuracy: Gold wire of LED screen offers reliable brightness control and color accuracy to prevent screen issues.

IAMLEDWALL: Pioneer in LED Technology

IAMLEDWALL is an established provider of LED display and control system solutions. Since introducing their COB LED high-definition LED display series in 2013, they have pursued technological innovation through product lines to produce exceptional high-end LED displays across industries, including government, judiciary, energy, power meteorology, military police public infrastructure smart cities as well as emergency centers, command rooms, conference facilities.

Conclusion

When it comes to LED display packaging, choosing between gold wire, alloy wire, and copper wire can have a dramatic impact on the performance, longevity, and quality of LED screens. Gold wire stands out as the superior choice for COB LED screens as it offers stability, resistance to oxidation, pressure resistance, uniform brightness, and color accuracy, as well as superior stability for COB LCD screens. 

IAMLEDWALL stands out with their commitment to technological innovation utilizing gold wire solutions, which underscores their leadership within the LED industry, making them the go-to provider across many sectors and applications; choosing gold wire leads the way toward excellence when selecting an LED Screen.