UK researchers explore using laser technology as a low-cost, chemical-free method of making PCBs

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 15 May 2009

48

Citation

(2009), "UK researchers explore using laser technology as a low-cost, chemical-free method of making PCBs", Circuit World, Vol. 35 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/cw.2009.21735bab.007

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


UK researchers explore using laser technology as a low-cost, chemical-free method of making PCBs

Article Type: Industry news From: Circuit World, Volume 35, Issue 2

UK researchers are exploring whether laser technology can provide a low-cost, chemical-free method of making PCBs. De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academics are taking part in the laser-printed electronics two year research project aimed at providing an environmentally friendly production method for PCBs.

The project is developing a dry printing method that uses no chemicals. DMU’s Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Group, led by Professor David Wimpenny, will develop a deposition system based on a combination of laser printing and fibre laser consolidation of the deposited material.

The project will initially look at laying conductive tracks on the circuit boards but could also be used to deposit layers of dielectric or protective materials, solder for connection of devices and also to print legends on boards.

Quartz-TSL, a PCB manufacturer based in Merry Lees, is coordinating the research project, and along with Hartlepool Company Flex-Ability Ltd, will be testing the process. The other partner in the project, MTT Ltd, based in Stone, will develop laser sintering hardware for the system.

The two-year project is worth £341,426 (about $487,000) with £182,346 (about $260,000) coming from the Technology Strategy Board’s high-value manufacturing call.

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