Laser direct structuring compounds

Compounds for laser direct structuring  -  TECACOMP LDS

Ensinger has developed specialised thermoplastic materials for three-dimensional electronic components (3D MID) which have been optimised for the LDS process. Molded Interconnect Devices (MID) integrate circuit traces and electrical circuitry directly into three-dimensional plastic components.
LDS technology primarily offers advantages when the installation space is limited, the number of components and process steps need to be reduced, and new design approaches are achievable.
The wealth of applications ranges from medical technology and the automotive industry to network systems and other wireless applications. Compounds


Properties for demanding applications

Scarcely any application places so many different demands on a compound as MID technology.

Laser Direct Structuring

On the injection-moulded component, the laser activates the copper ions present in the material, and in the process draws the structure for the circuit trace. In the subsequent copper bath, the structure is coated e.g. with copper-nickel-gold.

High temperatures plastics

LDS requires the compound to have high thermal stability, good isotropic component behaviour and above all be suitable for metallisation. HT materials are required above all for reflow soldering processes of passive elements.

Low thermal expansion

In the LDS process, polymers are joined to metals. The difficulty here is that plastics essentially exhibit much higher thermal expansion than metals.
The TECACOMP LDS materials have a similar coefficient of expansion to copper, and good dielectric behaviour. Consequently they are ideal for replacing circuit boards.

Stable metal structures thanks to innovative filler concept

With the TECACOMP LDS materials, a surface roughness and circuit trace edge definition can be achieved that enable a fine pitch design of up to 75µ.

The TECACOMP LDS compounds are based on polyarylether ketone (PEEK), polyphthalamide (PPA) or Liquid crystal polymer (LCP). The compounds have a dark greyish-black colour as standard, but thanks to the special filler concept from Ensinger, it is also possible to produce very light-coloured LDS structures without a copper base:

TECACOMP PEEK LDS

Ensinger is the only plastics processor worldwide able to offer a PEEK for the LDS method that has been certified by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG. The high-performance polymer stands out for its high thermal stability up to 300 degrees Celsius. It also has very good weld line strength, good adhesive strength and good chemical resistance. Plated through hole bonding is possible. Important applications for the material TECACOMP PEEK LDS are aerials, sensors and safety applications.

TECACOMP LCP LDS

TECACOMP LCP LDS is particularly suitable for very thin-walled components. The liquid crystalline material LCP stands out for very good dimensional stability and rigidity. Furthermore, the plastic has good chemical and flame-retardant properties. Target industries are electrical engineering and LED light technology, mechanical engineering and the automotive sector.

TECACOMP PPA LDS

The LDS portfolio is completed by TECACOMP PPA LDS which is easy to process and has thermal stability up to 250 degrees Celsius.



LDS process Steps with TECACOMP PEEK LDS

TECACOMP LDS sample for application
Smart phone antennae Smart phone antennea
To date, applications below 40µ have not been possible with LDS technology.In this range, therefore, silicon wafers are used for sensors. Ensinger has now developed a concept that makes it possible to provide sensors with very fine structures with thermoplastic material. The filler concept in TECACOMP PEEK LDS grey permits these structures with a surface roughness of Rz 0.24 µm (Ra 0.03 µm). 

Compounds: Business Case – AMR Sensors

Alternative manufacturing methods for sensor applications have been investigated and reveal that modified polyetheretherketone (PEEK) can replace high-priced substrates such as silicon.

Benefits

Suitable for all popularly used soldering techniques up to 260°C

  • Reduced thermal expansion in the event of temperature changes
  • Enhanced thermal conductivity for improved cooling
  • Optimized filler systems for fine pitch structures up to 70 µm