Selective metalization with wet-chemical processes

A selective, wet-chemical metalization process can be utilized to generate 3D traces or metal structures on 3D components. Electroless plating and electroplating processes play an important role in this regard.

The metal layer systems used here are basically similar to the systems used in printed circuit board technology. However, with MID technologies, the primary focus is on the respective pre-treatment process prior to metal deposition. For plastic metalization, a defined surface microroughness is the key factor for generating highly adhesive metallic layers on the plastic component. Such metallic layers can be generated through a wet-chemical pretreatment of the plastic component. However, with laser direct structuring using the LPKF-LDS® process, a laser process ensures the necessary pretreatment. The laser also plays the crucial role in the selective wet-chemical metalization.

Processes for different substrate materials

In our metalization line MIDs can be plated with copper, nickel, and gold, via the typical outside-electroless layer system. In the LPKF-LDS® process, the outside-electroless copper electrolytes are monitored with the e-Cu:Check measuring system developed by Hahn-Schickard. Alternatively, other surface layers, such as silver, tin, or palladium/gold are also possible. In particular the latter is quite promising for medical technology applications. In addition, we also offer the possibility of galvanic metal deposition (electroplating). This is of primary interest for film systems; however also if greater layer thicknesses are required for high current-carrying capacity and thermal conductivity.

Electroless plated and electroplated metal layer systems

We use our extensive analysis possibilities to determine layer thickness, bonding strength, and surface roughness for characterization of the metal layers. Our systems have modular process tanks with a working volume of approximately 30 liters. Depending on size and geometry, the MID components can be processed in frames or drums. We offer process developments in addition to established processes; thus we can react flexibly to your requirements.

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