Introduction to Flex PCB Additive Processing and Semi-Additive Processing


While fully additive handling is unusual in flex PCB processing, it has potential and also there are a couple of methods to complete it. One of the most familiar approach utilizes a catalyzed laminate onto which negative pictures of the circuit patterns are produced. The exposed laminate can then be layered around accumulate the desired circuit patterns. To appropriately regulate the deposit homes, the plating procedure could take a number of hours to develop the required nominal thickness of about 25µm.
A variation on the additive procedure was created to make flex PCB in the ahead of time 1990s. Right here, a catalytic printer toner is printed into a continual web of material and the circuit pattern is integrated in place. The circuits could after that be plated up making use of a combination of traditional procedures.

Transfer lamination of circuits could also be categorized as an additive process. In this process the circuits are layered onto a kind of mandrel and then transferred to a base product in a lamination process.

Along with the approaches explained, ZettaCore, Inc. has established a distinct process for making additive laminates that can be put on products to enhance their bond to various other materials. ZettaCore’s brand-new technology creates a molecular adhesion layer on smooth substrates, permitting electroless deposition as well as electroplating of copper onto unroughened polymer surfaces. Particles are connected to smooth substrates making use of a thermally-induced reaction of the molecular species with the substratum surface area. Next, the molecule-modified surface area’s high affinity for steel ions facilitates electroless plating of the copper, which is after that made use of as a seed layer to electroplate bigger quantities of copper using conventional procedures. The process has been verified to dependably enable fabrication of circuit substratums with great line copper circuit patterns down to eight lines and areas making use of a semi-additive pattern procedure with just a mild alteration to conventional lithographic procedures.

The vital thing to note is that the flex PCB circuits have actually revealed great security in Highly Accelerated Temperature/ Humidity Stress Test (HAST) and also other increased stress tests, suggesting that therapy with the molecular attachment procedure considerably boosts the capacity to pattern copper lines at fine-line spacing. While there are a variety of firms checking out the innovation, it is not yet extensively readily available.


As the name implies, this technique is not totally additive. The fundamental process usually entails the use of a base material that is coated with a really slim layer of steel of flex PCB, frequently copper.

The thin steel layer can be additively layered to the whole surface utilizing an electroless copper plating procedure or a sputtering process. When sputtering is employed, the copper film is normally come before by a thin bond enhancement layer of chrome or nickel. This film is then imaged with an unfavorable flex PCB circuits pattern, similar to the additive process, and the circuits are electroplated to the wanted density. After plating, the stand up to is gotten rid of as well as the circuits are flash engraved to remove the history copper as well as attachment movie.

There are variations on this procedure too. One such variant is to place the circuit pattern down initially, and afterwards to sputter into the openings to bond to the base film. As the wall surfaces are generally really poorly covered, it is feasible to remove the withstand with its thin finish of metal after the plating procedure. This procedure is aptly called the take off process (e).

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