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Browse Prior Art Database

Subsurface Circuitry on Polymeric Substrates

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043948D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mace, EW: AUTHOR

Abstract

This technique represents a novel, efficient, low-cost, high-production method of fabricating electronic circuits, by featuring polymer thick-film circuitry on an unreinforced or reinforced polymer substrate. The process is amenable to high speed reproducible circuit manufacture. Present methods of preparing circuits for electronic and electrical devices typically involve processes such as subtractive etching of metal films, additive plating of metallic films, wire embedment, conductive inks, screened-on conductive pastes, and other procedures which commonly require blanking, routing, drilling, plating, etching, and related activities. Artwork is also usually required, as well as photo or silk-screen processes. Furthermore, substrates used tend to be expensive.

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Subsurface Circuitry on Polymeric Substrates

This technique represents a novel, efficient, low-cost, high-production method of fabricating electronic circuits, by featuring polymer thick-film circuitry on an unreinforced or reinforced polymer substrate. The process is amenable to high speed reproducible circuit manufacture. Present methods of preparing circuits for electronic and electrical devices typically involve processes such as subtractive etching of metal films, additive plating of metallic films, wire embedment, conductive inks, screened-on conductive pastes, and other procedures which commonly require blanking, routing, drilling, plating, etching, and related activities. Artwork is also usually required, as well as photo or silk-screen processes. Furthermore, substrates used tend to be expensive. The present technique represents a novel approach in that it begins with injection molded polysulfone substrates. Polysulfone was selected because of its excellent dimensional stability, its dielectric properties, and its ability to withstand the temperature extremes encountered in circuit board assembly operations. The substrate is injection molded with the desired circuit patterns molded into the surface to virtually any desired depth. Other desired elements may also be molded into the substrate, such as stand-offs, bosses, tabs, holes, etc. The circuitry is fabricated by placing a quantity of polymer thick film conductive paste on one edge of the substrate surface. A compliant elastomeric blade is then employed to mov...