Die Attach Preform Cutter

The US Army seeks a partner to license and commercialize a novel cutting tool to hold, measure, and cleave solder alloys as die attach preform material for electronic chip components.

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Technology Description

Background & Technology:

The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has developed and filed a patent application on a novel cutting tool for small scale manufacture of die attach solder preforms,  a backing material for the attachment of semiconductor devices and electronic chip components. Researchers and developers of electronic devices require small quantities of different die attach solder materials in various sizes, on an ad hoc basis, to optimize the die attach process for each device packaging situation.  Solder alloys are commercially available as ribbon or sheets that can either be stamp and die cut, or custom cut in small quantities as needed.  Manufacturers providing large quantities of custom sized solder preforms to large scale commercial device packaging companies can’t cost effectively support small custom orders, and instead charge a set-up fee, require a minimum quantity, and may require several weeks of lead time to process custom orders. ARL’s Die Attach Preform Cutter allows a user to custom cut small pieces of thin, brittle, solder preform material, such as gold/tin alloys from commercially available ribbon stock. The cutter includes lateral guides which maintain the material to be cut in substantially perpendicular alignment with respect to the cutting blade. This tool would benefit any institution (business, academia, research lab) where small quantities of various size devices are packaged or developed.


  • Economical: Cutter can be manufactured on 3-D printer or injection molded
  • Utilitarian: Cutter works on range of solder ribbons including gold-tin alloy
  • Innovative: More stable and accurate than hand-held cutters, exacto knives, or scissors

Status and Opportunity:

  • US Patent Application 14/831,585 is available for licensing
  • Technical data package including cad drawings convey with license

Supplemental Technical Information:

For more information, contact:

Dan Swanson, dss@montana.edu, Tel (406) 994-7736

Dr. Brian Metzger, brian.metzger@montana.edu, Tel (406) 994-7782

Licensing Instructions:

In order to apply for license to federally owned technologies, regulations require that specific information be provided regarding your company and plans for commercialization. This information will be incorporated in a license agreement which will be provided for your review prior to signature. All provided information will be considered proprietary and held confidential.

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