LPKF Laser & Electronics has entered a know-how and license agreement with Ticona (Kelsterbach, Germany) for the material Vectra®LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer). The agreement enables Ticona to modify their LCP material for the LPKF Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process to produce 3D-MID circuits.
There has long been a desire to deposit conductive paths directly on molded plastic structures, combining the electrical and mechanical functions in one component to form an injection-molded circuit carrier. With the combination of the LPKF LDS process and the new Vectra polymer material, this technology is easily accomplished. Now, the electronics housing substitutes for the conventional circuit board, encouraging miniaturization. This laser-based process is realized with few manufacturing steps. The structure is molded in a standard mold using the Vectra proprietary plastic, the desired interconnect pattern is directly written on the resulting molded part using an LPKF laser system, and the conductive paths are plated using industry standard methods. The plating adheres only where the plastic has been activated by the laser. Due to the high temperature resistance, the circuit structures on this LCP material are solderable. This technology is ideal for mobile communication devices, hearing aids and sensory technology for automobile electronics.
For more information, visit www.lpkfusa.com.