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Precision Laser Cutting Flex Circuits

flex circuits

.002" vias drilled in double sided Cu laminate. No residue or Cu discoloration was produced.

Photoablation based Laser Micromachining offers improvements in traditional Flexible Circuit and PCB production processes such as via drilling, removal of polyimide from metal and singulation (cutting) of a device from sheet.

Unique properties of Polyimide films (such as high working temperatures, resistance to radiation, low flammability and smoke emission, wear resistance, good dielectric properties, and chemical stability) make them materials of choice for use in flexible circuit production.

Multilayered thin metal/dielectric "sandwiches" for flexible circuits require complicated technological operations to produce the final product. Three important operations such as via drilling (through all layers), removal of the top dielectric layer from the conductor and separation of a single device from a sheet benefit from the use of our technology.

Vias of .002" and greater in diameter on up to .020" thick multilayer structures can be successfully drilled. A laser system created for polymer machining produces very good results on cutting through the metal layer without heat-affected zones and particulate contamination. Slots and holes of any shape and size can be generated.

Microscope Pictures Represent Some of the Aspects of our Method: 

laser cutting of flex circuit
 
The two pictures above show ablation of polyimide from a conductive Cu layer. An extremely clean surface with a high-edge quality produces a specific laser finish, which is ready for wire bonding.
 
 
 
The edge quality of polyimide cutting shown above underlines the difference between conventional laser cutting and our dry, non-contact process that yields 100% part production.

The smallest feature that can be produced is .002" in size with an accuracy of placement of .0005" within a 24" square work area.

We have developed additional methods for other materials: ceramics, metals, semiconductors, composites, multilayer structures, and selective removal of one material from another (Gold from ceramic, Si from glass), etc.