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Proceedings Paper

Micromachining of liquid crystal polymer film with frequency converted diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser
Author(s): Mingwei Li; Ken Hix; Larry R. Dosser; Kevin Hartke; Jim Blackshire
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Paper Abstract

Liquid crystal polymer (LCP) is a new and innovative material being used as an alternative to polyimide in the flexible circuit industry. LCP has many intrinsic benefits over polyimide including lower moisture absorption and improved dimensional stability. However, LCP is very resistant to chemical milling or etching. As a result, other methods for processing the material are being investigated including laser micromachining. In this paper, three frequency converted diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) Nd:YVO4 lasers at 355 nm were used to micromachine a LCP film and a copper/LCP laminate. Of them, two are Q-switched lasers operating in the nanosecond regime and the other a mode-locked laser in the picosecond regime. The Q-switched lasers can be operated at pulse repetition rates of 1 to 300 kHz while the mode-locked system is operated at 80 MHz. The micromachining experiments consisted of cutting the 50 μm thick LCP film, cutting the 18 μm thick copper on the film, and drilling micro-vias through both the copper coating and the film substrate. The laser/material interactions and processing speeds were studied and compared. The results show that, compared to polyimide film of the same thickness, LCP film can be more efficiently processed by laser micromachining. In addition, each laser has a unique advantage in processing LCP based flexible circuit materials. The Q-switched lasers are more capable of processing the copper coating while the mode-locked laser can cut LCP film faster with the smallest kerf width.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4977, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics II, (17 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.479227
Show Author Affiliations
Mingwei Li, Spectra-Physics, Inc. (United States)
Ken Hix, Mound Laser & Photonics Ctr., Inc. (United States)
Larry R. Dosser, Mound Laser & Photonics Ctr., Inc. (United States)
Kevin Hartke, Mound Laser & Photonics Ctr., Inc. (United States)
Jim Blackshire, Wright Patterson Air Force Base (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4977:
Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics II
Alberto Piqué; David B. Geohegan; Friedrich G. Bachmann; Koji Sugioka; Frank Träger; Jan J. Dubowski; Peter R. Herman; Willem Hoving; Kouichi Murakami; Kunihiko Washio; Jim Fieret, Editor(s)

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