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Printed electronics: PCB manufacturing method from Subtractive to additive
2010/8/17 15:30:51

    A new generation of printed electronic circuits is the inclusion of electronic circuits and components connected component, will replace the traditional printed circuit board and then install the components function. Inkjet printing technology and printing materials will be printed electronics technology based issues.

    Clean production is printed circuit board (PCB) industry, the only way to achieve sustainable development. To deal with environmental protection and cost efficiency as well as multiple pressures, the printing of electronic technology as an efficient, low consumption, energy saving, environmentally friendly technology to become the focus of the industry.

    Printed electronics to PCB "green up"

    The current PCB industry, environmental and resource issues and sustainable development issues are placed in an unprecedented strategic height. China's PCB industry development must strengthen governance to make it onto the track of the circular economy clean production, PCB industry can become a resource-saving and environment-friendly industries. Therefore, PCB enterprises must actively address this situation, the traditional PCB manufacturing to accelerate technological innovation and industrial revolution, the real saving and emission reduction, and even pollution-free production. China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA), said blocking consultant Lin, printed electronics (digital inkjet printing) technology will lead the PCB industry to a "green production" to stay. At present, some of the world developed countries have invested heavily in research and development of this technology.

    Shanghai Meadville Technology Co., Ltd. Senior Engineer Gong Yonglin made of printed electronics to explain, he said, printed circuit board manufacturing process is a conventional copper etching, also known as Subtractive. It is made of copper clad laminates as substrates by screen printing or photo-induced formation of resist image line graphs, obtained by chemical etching circuit; even if double-sided or multilayer PCB plating the holes with metal to achieve layer circuit interconnect. Therefore, PCB manufacturing process is complex, multi-process, is bound to consume large quantities of water and electricity, will consume a lot of copper and chemical materials, produce large amounts of wastewater and pollutants. The development trend of electronic equipment is functional, compact, environmentally friendly and low cost, which the corresponding requirements for supporting the PCB high-density, light and thin, environmentally friendly and low-cost, traditional PCB technology and a new generation of products is clearly difficult to achieve requirements. At present in Europe and America, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, China is emerging technological revolution --- a PCB printed electronics (PrintedElec-tronic) or printed electronic circuit (PEC: PrintedElectronicCircuit), also known as the Addition. This revolutionary new technology is the use of functional inks printed directly on an insulating substrate of electronic circuit, such as the flexible organic films are conductive lines printed conductive ink, printing ink by the semiconductor components such as transistors or memory. This new generation of printed electronic circuit is included to connect circuits and components of electronic components, will replace the traditional printed circuit board and then install the components function.

    Can not talk to the people behind

    China Printed Circuit Industry Association, said Wang Longji, printed circuit boards since the date of birth, over half a century, we dream is to be able to cut into law in the manufacturing process, with the addition method to replace. The technology is currently in process, materials and equipment have made progress. Faced with this situation, we are waiting for Europe, America, Japan and South Korea to make the introduction of the results later, or to step up their R & D to catch up? This is a matter of principle. He said that many domestic enterprises are looking forward to being able to take early Addition process, in particular flexible printed circuit board business, they want to use inkjet printing technology to replace the character printing and solder printing, and then the line formation. This not only can greatly reduce the use of hard-board technology on flexible plate processing wastes, and can greatly reduce the process and shorten the production cycle. "Addition implementation process will be a technological revolution in our industry." Wang Longji said.

    At present, China's PCB enterprises from the size and financial and other terms with the international group of companies, there is still a gap, not solely by a business process from the addition of the slurry method, equipment, and trial production all the work. Therefore, a strong combination, division of labor, joint development is a good way and form. Wang Longji told reporters that China Printed Circuit Association recently held in Zhuhai, "Printed Electronics Conference", set up a "printed electronics production and research alliances," and divided into equipment group, material group, craft group, the information group and planning group and several other groups. The primary objective of this alliance is to overcome the ink-jet printing technology, inkjet printing technology first used in the flexible character and the solder on the board. "China's PCB industry can no longer rely on the introduction of the absolute equipment, materials, process and technology development, must not always followed behind the others, with high prices to buy other people's results, so we will always lag behind, never passive, always weak. We must vigorously proprietary research and development, trial production, innovation, and catch up with Japan, Europe. "Wang Longji said," We should mobilize more institutions and businesses to form the more 'production and research' Union, to enhance the technological level of China's PCB industry , has more of its own patents, its technology, developed their own materials and equipment. so as soon as China's PCB industry ranks among the world's most advanced. "

    With new equipment and materials required

    Orientation of printed electronics is diversified, the current technology is still mainly for printing of nano-technology and can print materials. In accordance with the industrialization of the Evolution, inkjet printing technology will become the core of printed electronics technology, the inkjet printing technology and printed materials will become the basis of electronic technology issues.

    Princeton R & D center in Tianjin, said Chen Yongsheng, ink-jet printing technology can support the current resolution has been the development of pre-200dpi-300dpi to 1000dpi. This capability can be achieved 10um conductive channel, this ability as applied to HDI (high density circuit board) products, which can carry the line will be less than 0.1um, that the traditional printed electronics technology and integrated circuits requirements have been differences on the technology needs of hundreds of times. Jet printing technology that the primary problem is how to improve the resolution, and integrated circuits to achieve a similar resolution. In addition, compared with three-dimensional circuit technology, the current is only two-dimensional plane jet printing, jet printing technology in order to expand the range of three-dimensional printing solutions is also essential. Therefore, the printing of the first breakthrough in electronic technology is a breakthrough in inkjet printing technology is a breakthrough device features.

    Printed materials, electronic technology is an almost entirely new field, whether it is the conductor material, insulation material or a semiconductor material, the most basic requirement is that a way can print a certain physical characteristics of the conductor or insulation and semiconductor layers. It is understood that the overall print material must have the following characteristics: UV curing and low temperature sintering, low shrinkage, high adhesion, high to high, low resistivity and low Dk, Df, environmental protection, low cost. All these requirements of the traditional manufacturers of electronic materials is an opportunity and a great challenge.

    Non-conductive insulating and semiconductor materials are UV cured, and able to maintain the stability of operating environment (mainly viscosity and surface tension, and thixotropy) to ensure accurate printing results. Chen Yongsheng said that currently the main material of epoxy resin-based research yielded some results, but the way the industry has not been very successful in the case. As resistors, capacitors, inductors, graphite, BaTiO3 and Fe3O4 semiconductor materials such as printing to replace the buried passive components embedded, can largely reduce the cost of the technology components can be buried and production inputs. Printing of conductive materials must have the metal nano-particles, and not before the deposition and printing characteristics of low-temperature sintering. Jet printing technology available about the formation of 10um thickness of the conductive layer of silver, other conductive metal materials, nano-technology research results disclosed ink jet printing is still relatively small.

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