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Rotational Circuit Board Etcher

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061213D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Moore, GW: AUTHOR

Abstract

An arrangement is described which allows consistency in etching from front side to back on circuit boards. Circuit board etchers used today process the product horizontally, etching the top and bottom at the same time. The bottom is sprayed with etchant, which is drained away quickly because of gravity. The etchant that is sprayed on the top has no place to drain and accumulates in puddles. This "puddling" effect allows excess etching to take place, yielding smaller feature sizes than the bottom side. The rotational etcher, shown in Fig. 1, will integrate the etching effects across both sides throughout the process. This will result in less scrape, better quality, and enhanced process control. The etcher consists of cylindrical chamber 10 with spray nozzles 11.

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Rotational Circuit Board Etcher

An arrangement is described which allows consistency in etching from front side to back on circuit boards. Circuit board etchers used today process the product horizontally, etching the top and bottom at the same time. The bottom is sprayed with etchant, which is drained away quickly because of gravity. The etchant that is sprayed on the top has no place to drain and accumulates in puddles. This "puddling" effect allows excess etching to take place, yielding smaller feature sizes than the bottom side. The rotational etcher, shown in Fig. 1, will integrate the etching effects across both sides throughout the process. This will result in less scrape, better quality, and enhanced process control. The etcher consists of cylindrical chamber 10 with spray nozzles 11. A transport device (conveyor) moves product through the chamber in such a way as to rotate the circuit board 180 degrees from start to finish (1/2 revolution). The chamber is cylindrical in construction with a drain trough 14 at the bottom for drainage of etchant away from the chamber to be filtered, replenished and reused. The nozzles are common industrial type nozzles for conventional etchers. These are located on "shaker" bars and placed along and with the direction of the conveyor. The conveyor must be able to hold the product securely from the outside edges to guard against buffeting as the spray strikes the panel. The conveyor moves the product through the chamber in a...