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Circuitization of Boards by Electroerosion Printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038829D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hodgson, RT: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Electroerosion is a known technique for producing direct negatives and printing plates. In this technique, a multistylus head contacts a thin conducting layer (Al) and electrical currents from the styli erode the Al layer to produce a pattern therein. This concept can be extended to provide maskless circuitization of boards. The boards are circuitized by substractive etching with the following steps required for patterning: l) The surface of the copper to be patterned is first covered with a thin polymer (electrical insulator). 2) A thin aluminum coating is deposited over the insulator. 3) Patterning of the aluminum by electroerosion is undertaken using a computer code to determine the regions to be ablated, which form the pattern to be etched in the copper. 4) The polymer under the ablated aluminum is dissolved.

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Circuitization of Boards by Electroerosion Printing

Electroerosion is a known technique for producing direct negatives and printing plates. In this technique, a multistylus head contacts a thin conducting layer (Al) and electrical currents from the styli erode the Al layer to produce a pattern therein. This concept can be extended to provide maskless circuitization of boards. The boards are circuitized by substractive etching with the following steps required for patterning: l) The surface of the copper to be patterned is first covered with a thin polymer (electrical insulator). 2) A thin aluminum coating is deposited over the insulator. 3) Patterning of the aluminum by electroerosion is undertaken using a computer code to determine the regions to be ablated, which form the pattern to be etched in the copper. 4) The polymer under the ablated aluminum is dissolved. 5) Copper is etched in a solution such as ferric chloride. The nonablated aluminum serves as a mask, thereby leaving the copper that will form the circuit pattern. 6) The remaining aluminum is now etched without etching the copper, and the remaining polymer is removed. Writing of the pattern by erosion can be accomplished in about l.5 minutes for an area typical of a standard page size. The average power of the erosion element is only about l0 watts, much lower than the power required for any laser technique described so far. This technique will eliminate all masks, thereby saving costs, and will give f...