Minute circuit path widths, but also large-area structures, such as shielding elements can be generated using laser structuring technologies. With additive laser direct structuring (LPKF-LDS® technology), semi-additive LSA processes, and the full-subtractive process, Hahn-Schickard has access to three industry-tested manufacturing processes.
Laser-based structuring technologies are increasingly used for manufacturing innovative mechatronic systems and microsystems, such as sensors and actuators for automotive engineering, automation engineering, and medical technology, as well as for antennas in the telecommunications area. Due to the 3D capacity of the processes, an extremely high degree of miniaturization and a significant increase in function density can be realized. Thanks to high flexibility, particularly for design changes in the development process, laser-based structuring technologies are suitable for a wide variety of applications with complex 3D circuit structures.
With the LPKF-LDS ® process, laser-activated thermosets are selectively activated via IR laser and metalized without external power. A wide range of materials is available nowadays (e.g. LCP, PPA, PEEK, PBT, PET + PBT, ABS and PC + ABS), making it possible to find a suitable thermoset for virtually any application. Typically, a layer system of Cu/Ni/Au is deposited; alternative layer systems, such as Cu/Pd/Au, Cu/Ag or galvanic coatings of chemical copper seed layers are also possible. In this regard, the finest conductor structures are less than 100 µm wide. In the EU-funded 3D-HiPMAS project we realized metal line structures of up to 30 µm using newly developed LDS thermoplastics and a fine focus laser system. Through-contacting can be integrated without additional steps.
With the semi-additive LSA technology, on a metalizable thermoplastic with chemical deposition without external power, or PVD coating a whole-surface copper seed layer is deposited. The conductive pattern is then structured through laser ablation with an ultra-short pulse laser and is reinforced after a cleaning stage with chemical Ni/Au.
Conductive circuit path pitches of under 40 µm are achieved with the full-subtractive process. To enable this, a layer of metal is deposited on a substrate over the entire surface. This can be done using a PVD coating and a subsequent reinforcement with Cu/Ni/Au, for example. The insulation areas are then introduced through structuring with an ultra-short pulse laser.