Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improved Fabrication of High Resolution Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

11.12.2002


Through precise control of the etching process, an inventor in Oxford University’s Photofabrication Unit has made the reliable production of High Resolution Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) with conductors down to 10 µm wide more of a cost-effective reality.

With increasing demands for greater miniaturisation and the use of flexible circuitry, the need for improved fabrication methods for high resolution printed circuit boards is becoming more important. PCBs currently include conductors with a width of 150 µm, but industry now requires conductors to be as narrow as 25 µm, and even as narrow as 10 µm. With current manufacturing techniques it is not possible to attain the required precision, especially where the spacing between the conductors varies. The etching rate is highest where the conductors are furthest apart, leading to over-etching and subsequent under-cutting of the very fine conductors in these areas. The resultant PCB has copper conductors of variable width, and therefore its performance is not optimum.

By controlling the etch conditions and the area to be etched, the Oxford inventor has reduced the amount of over-etching to an acceptable level, and under-cutting has been virtually eliminated. The spaces between the conductors are now all of uniform width, but with more redundant copper remaining on the PCB, resulting in the etching being confined to narrow tracks. In the magnified view of an actual PCB, the white areas represent the exposed copper tracks, while the black areas show the intervening non-conducting substrate.



This exciting new technology will benefit many of the applications that now demand PCBs with fine conductors or alternatively require flexible circuitry to facilitate yet further miniaturisation, including mobile phones, personal flip-top organisers and inkjet printers.

Isis Innovation, Oxford University’s technology transfer company, has filed a patent application for this technology and welcomes contact from companies interested in commercially developing this technique.

Jennifer Johnson | alfa

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass
25.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano
11.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>