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Inkjet Patterning Followed by Selective Curing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022440D
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

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From: Nigel Bromley [nigel.bromley@ffei.co.uk]

Sent: 10 December 2003 08:20

To: Patent

Subject: Inkjet patterning followed by selective curing (re-send)

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This idea was elaborated at a meeting consisting of: Christoph Bittner,

Martin Gouch and Nigel Bromley. It is for consideration of patenting or

low-key publication.

Inkjet patterning followed by selective curing

This idea is a new method for patterning a functional layer in which the

different advantages of known methods are combined to produce a process

which is both fast and high-resolution.

The process is described in terms of patterning a solder resist layer on an

electronic circuit board, but it is applicable to many patterning processes.

Prior art is seen for patterning solder resist using an inkjet printer. In

this process, the required resist pattern is converted into a rasterised

image which is then printed over the whole area of the circuit board layer

using a resist material adapted for inkjet printing. This process is

suitable for prototyping or small volume production as it is reasonably fast

and economical with materials, but at present it is not capable of high

resolution. This is because of the rasterisation and the unpredictable

behaviour of the printing heads and of the ink on the surface.

The new process employs the following steps:

         Print the required pattern of functional material (eg solder resist)

using conventional inkjet printing, allowing the ink to cover a slightly

larger area than required, at least in areas that are to be patterned more

accurately in the next step. At this stage, the ink is not fully cured, but

only cured sufficiently to stop it from spreading further. This pinning cure

either makes a thin skin or makes the bulk of the ink more viscous, but does

not solidify it.

         Use an XY-adressable laser at a suitable wavelength to fully cure

the ink along the edges of...