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Improved Technique for Laser Scribing Printed Circuit Boards

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037111D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chiles, TH: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In the production of printed circuit boards, one conventional process for forming the circuitry is to first plate or otherwise deposit a thin coating of copper or other metal on the surface of the board and then laser scribe the desired circuit pattern in the metal on the board. This is typically done with a CO2 laser. One of the problems encountered with such laser scribing is that edges of the conductive lands formed are jagged and rough, not the more desirable smooth straight type of line definition which is desired. Another problem encountered in the laser scribing is the deposit of a byproduct of the laser scribing process known as "Char" over the board and especially at the interface between the scribed lands and the exposed substrate.

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Improved Technique for Laser Scribing Printed Circuit Boards

In the production of printed circuit boards, one conventional process for forming the circuitry is to first plate or otherwise deposit a thin coating of copper or other metal on the surface of the board and then laser scribe the desired circuit pattern in the metal on the board. This is typically done with a CO2 laser. One of the problems encountered with such laser scribing is that edges of the conductive lands formed are jagged and rough, not the more desirable smooth straight type of line definition which is desired. Another problem encountered in the laser scribing is the deposit of a byproduct of the laser scribing process known as "Char" over the board and especially at the interface between the scribed lands and the exposed substrate. The "Char" appears to be a partially oxidized powder which may contain a small amount of metal and which adversely affects the resulting circuit pattern on the board in several ways: (1) the "Char" interferes with the efficient operation of the lands as circuit conductors and (2) the "Char" is conductive enough to interfere with the insulating properties desired.

To overcome both of these problems of jagged edges and a "Char" deposit, it has been found that by covering the entire surface of the metallized board, before laser scribing, with a material such as an adhesive backed plastic tape and performing the laser scribing operation through the tape, smoother land l...