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Additive Flexible Circuit Production using UV Curable Catalytic Inks
Keywords: Additive, Circuit, Process
Traditional methods for creating circuit patterns on flexible films have been focused on subtractive and semi-additive processes. A new family of UV curable and catalytic inks have been developed that make fully additive processing easy and supports low cost fabrication. Because of the flexibility of UV curable inks, a variety of printing processes can be used for deposition including screen printing, inkjet printing and even photolithography. Most of our work has been focused on the use of high speed inkjet printing to provide for maximum flexibility and reduction in tooling. The combination of high speed roll to roll inkjet printing and a unique electroless plating process represents a high degree of process flexibility Additive processing using this catalyst technology represents a major step forward for single sided circuit production. The absence of process steps relates directly to a significantly lower environmental footprint. No resist is used and no etching performed which leaves only a small volume rinse water stream to treat and handle. By reducing steps and waste creation, cost is also significantly reduced. The total cost of production is significantly less than what raw material would cost in a subtractive or semi-additive approach. While the process is limited to very thin copper layers it has been shown to be a very competitive solution for many applications.
Joel Yocom, Business Development Manager
Conductive Inkjet Technology
Cambridge CB4 2QH,
England


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