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.
Jennifer Johnson | alfa
Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences