Garbsen and Ludwigshafen, Germany — LPKF Laser & Electronics AG and technical plastics producer BASF AG have signed a know-how and licensing agreement whereby the latter has modified a range of high-performance plastics containing a special, laser-sensitive metal organic complex used in the former's proprietary laser-based production process of Molded Interconnect Devices (MIDs).
A specially modified plastic component is injection-molded (l), the surface area specified by the circuit layout is activated by the laser (c), and copper conducting lines are then deposited (r).
This enables the electronics industry to create fine-detail circuits of less than 100 microns in width, directly onto the surface of three-dimensional plastic components. This technology is ideal for antenna structures in mobile phones, security sensors, and plastic compounds for the auto industry, where due to the size and weight decrease of the housing it also acts as the circuit board.
BASF's base polymer Ultramid® T was chosen for its high melting point, which makes it suitable for hot-soldering applications. This laser-sensitive material also has ideal mechanical properties. For more information, www.lpkfusas.com.