Producing sharp contours in microelectronics with lasers

Lüneberg, Germany--Anyone specializing in the design and manufacture of flexible PCBs, flex circuits (FCPs), and polymers is now able to do it with the flexibility and precision of laser technology.

Lüneberg, Germany--Anyone specializing in the design and manufacture of flexible PCBs, flex circuits (FCPs), and polymers is now able to do it with the flexibility and precision of laser technology. Today, many different technical and micro-technical applications rely on well-known polyimide and polyester based synthetic brand names such as: Kapton, Norton, and Mylar as the substrates for the manufacture of flexible printed circuits.

Now the question of the main focuses of production and the production demands that need to be met arise. All laser suppliers promise flexibility and high performance, but customers of eurolaser tell them that the differences only become apparent when they are compared in practice.

The advantages of laser cutting in general are already well established:
• Clean cut edges with no burr formation
• Cutting of extremely fine contours and practically radius-free inner edges
• High degree of precision and accurate positioning of the cutting edges thanks to camera recognition systems
• Very low thermal impact, i.e. no delaminating
• Cutting of very different material thicknesses and combinations in one work step
• Contact-free material processing so no material warping
• No clamping device or protective cover necessary

Laser processing takes place both before and after the electronic components are mounted and often in combination with other substrates such as spacer or adhesive foils. So the above-mentioned advantages of laser processing offer the manufacturer an additional plus with regard to freedom in the planning of manufacturing processes.

UV lasers are typically used for processing PCBs (FR2, FR-4), but a little ingenuity in the design of the more efficient CO2 laser makes it suitable for the processing of flexible PCBs as well, reducing the investment costs to a fraction. In cooperation with ZÜND--the Swiss manufacturer of precision cutters--eurolaser has now made this application possible for the CO2 laser:
• Applications using the economical sealed-off CO2 laser
• Maximum productivity
• Perfect cuts--no reworking
• Minimum burr and oxide formation thanks to new nozzle and exhaust concept
• Precision through to the µm-range
• Open software structure (file formats e.g. dxf, ai, eps, pdf, and many more)
• Perfectly accurate laser cutting, thanks to an optical recognition system

According to the head of the applications department at eurolaser, users in this market segment have confirmed the excellent quality of the cut edges and are manufacturing successfully for the automotive supplier market. There are no more costs for punching tools and machine setup and the laser system can be integrated easily into existing production lines.

A number of useful options round-off the range of products and services. Cutting speeds, and therefore profitability, are increased many times over. eurolaser is prepared to sample industry requirements free of charge. Contact: brandt@eurolaser.com

More in Micromachining