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Application of UV Laser in PCB Materials

Feb 27, 2020

Application 1: Surface Etching / Circuit Making

UV lasers work quickly when producing circuits, and can etch surface patterns on circuit boards in minutes. This makes UV lasers the fastest way to produce PCB samples. R & D noted that more and more sample laboratories are being equipped with internal UV laser systems.

Depending on the optical instrument verification, the size of the UV laser beam can reach 10-20 μm, thereby producing flexible circuit traces. The application in Figure 2 shows the greatest advantage of UV in the production of circuit traces, which are extremely tiny and need to be seen under a microscope.

This board measures 0.75 "x 0.5" and consists of a sintered ceramic substrate and tungsten / nickel / copper / surface. The laser is capable of generating 2 mils of circuit traces with a pitch of 1 mil, resulting in a total pitch of only 3 mils.

Although using laser beams to produce circuits is the fastest method for PCB samples, surface etching applications on a large scale are best left to the chemical process.

Application 2: PCB removal

UV laser cutting is the best choice for large or small production, and it is also a good choice for PCB disassembly, especially when it is applied to flexible or rigid-flex circuit boards. Disassembly is the removal of a single circuit board from a panel. Considering the increasing flexibility of materials, such disassembly will face great challenges.

Mechanical disassembly methods such as V-groove cutting and automatic circuit board cutting easily damage sensitive and thin substrates, and cause trouble for electronic professional manufacturing service (EMS) companies when disassembling flexible and rigid-flex circuit boards.

UV laser cutting can not only eliminate the impact of mechanical stress generated during the disassembly process such as punching edge processing, deformation, and damage to circuit components but also have less influence of thermal stress when disassembled by other lasers such as CO2 laser cutting.

The reduction of "cutting cushions" can save space, which means that components can be placed closer to the edge of the circuit, and more circuits can be installed on each circuit board, maximizing efficiency and reaching the maximum limit of flexible circuit applications.

Application 3: Drilling

Another application that uses the small beam size and low-stress properties of UV lasers is drilling, including through-holes, micro-holes, and blind and buried holes. The UV laser system drills through the substrate by focusing the vertical beam straight through the substrate. Depending on the material used, holes as small as 10 μm can be drilled.

UV lasers are particularly useful when drilling multiple layers. Multi-layer PCBs are laminated together using hot die-casting. These so-called "semi-cured" separations occur, especially after processing at higher temperature lasers. However, the relatively stress-free nature of UV lasers solves this problem.

During the manufacturing process, many conditions can cause damage to the circuit board, including broken solder joints, broken components, or delamination. Either factor can cause circuit boards to be thrown into the waste bin rather than into the shipping bin on the production line.

Application 4: Deep engraving

Another application that demonstrates the versatility of UV lasers is deep engraving, which includes multiple forms. 威廉希尔官方下载ing the software control of the laser system, the laser beam is set for controlled ablation, that is, it can cut on a certain material at the required depth, and can stop, continue and complete the required before turning to another depth and starting another task. Processing.

Various deep applications include: small-scale production for chip embedding and surface grinding to remove organic materials from metal surfaces.

UV lasers can also be operated in multiple steps on a substrate. On polyethylene materials, the first step is to create a groove with a depth of 2 mils by laser, the second step is to create a groove of 8 mils based on the previous step, and the third step is a 10 mils groove. This illustrates the overall user control capabilities provided by the UV laser system.

Conclusion: a one-for-all approach

The most striking thing about UV lasers is the ability to accomplish all of these applications in a single step. What does this mean for manufacturing circuit boards? People no longer need to use simultaneous processes and methods on different equipment to complete an application, but only need one process to get complete parts.

This streamlined production solution helps eliminate quality control issues that arise when circuit boards are transitioned between different processes. The UV debris-free ablation feature also means that no post-processing cleaning is required.


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