April 9, 2021
Gold vs copper bonding in LED displays is something that should be discussed with your LED manufacturer. The type of bonding can easily be overlooked for other product features, but it should be taken into consideration when selecting the right product for your application. This blog post will help you understand the design and what the difference is between gold and copper bonding in a LED panel.
The bonding that we’re referring to is the connection point between the red green or blue chip to the electrode inside the SMD package, or directly to the COB PCB. When the screen is powered on, these connection points produce heat, which naturally generates expansion/contraction. Gold and copper wire or pads behave differently under these pressures. Moreover, gold and copper handle elemental conditions in different ways which can decrease the overall failure rate and lifespan of the display.
Gold vs copper bonding in LED displays
What’s the difference?
Copper and gold are different metal elements with different properties. The thermal conductivity of gold is 318W/mK, whereas the thermal conductivity of copper is slightly higher at 401W/mK. The electrical conductivity of copper is slightly higher at 5.96 x107 S/m than gold which is 4.11×107 S/m.
More importantly is the lifespan of the two metals. Copper has a high oxidation level. So, if installed in an unstable environment (such as outside), it will fail sooner than gold. This can be repaired but would require the removal of the LED module and replacement of the diode. If installed in a stable environment, the anticipated lifespan of the display is nearly identical.
Arguably the most important difference of gold vs copper bonding in LED displays is the effect it has on the panel price. Gold bonding is more expensive, but is more reliable, especially in unstable environments. Copper is a less expensive option but comes with reliability and lifespan concerns depending on your application.
Talk to Your Manufacturer
When requesting and reviewing LED quotes, take this into consideration. Make sure to discuss the environment and application your LED screen is being installed with your manufacturer. They should advise you on what product is best for your application and provide a product recommendation that fits your project’s needs.