Printed Circuit Boards


Format of Course
A series of 10 one hour long lectures / tutorials
Delivered by

Dr Gary J Callon Dr Graham Berry


Course Content
History of PCB Development The rapid advancements during the 50¶s and 60¶s Developments up to the modern day Materials ± choices, properties of substrates, solders, metal interconnects, chip and component packages etc.

vias.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Course Content urface Mount Technology Multi layers ± associated technology. electroless & electroplating etc. Future Trends in PCB Manufacture . interconnecting layers.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS The PCB Basically consists of a planar (flat) substrate which has electronic components mounted on it that are interconnected by conductive tracks. .

flat substrate ± aided by advancements in component reduction. reduces cost to customer. Multi layer possibilities allows more complex circuitry without taking up more room.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS The PCB Obvious Advantages Large number of components can be fitted and connected together on a small. thin line widths of interconnects. . Mass production ± high volume throughput.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Late 1890¶s ± Great Advancements in Telephony Early 1900¶s ± Great Advancements in Wireless Radio Wiring becoming more and more complex as more components being used. High error rate as more and more wires needed to connect components ± improvement needed .

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Alternative concept of using a planar substrate with mounted components and patterned interconnects dates back to early 1900¶s In 1903. from Berlin. Included the concept of a double sided board with interconnections between top and bottom layers. Albert Hanson. filed a µprinted wire¶ patent based on stamped or cut out brass or copper foil adhesively bonded to paraffin paper. Interconnects basically crimped! Also suggested the use of conductors deposited from conductive inks and electrodeposition .

[3] applying gold foil to the adhesive.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Edison had also been asked by the Sprague Electrical Co. [2] Patterning a dielectric with silver nitrate solution and decomposing the salt to the metal. [1] and [2] can basically be applied as printing techniques ± Edison realised the importance of mass production! . how to µdraw¶ conductive traces on paper. He suggested [1] applying glue or polymer and dusting with conductive powder.

.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Edison could have pondered further and included vacuum deposition technology and copper plating. America¶s most prolific inventor had patented these! NOTE ± Edison¶s suggestions were ADDITIVE techniques ± Putting material only where it is needed.

There is considerable interest at the moment in being able to return to additive technologies. Generally conductive interconnects today are made via subtractive technology ± i. Less waste. effluent. .e. cover whole substrate with copper and etch or mill away unwanted material.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Early circuitry generally ignored Subtractive techniques & favoured Additive. chemicals etc.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY In 1913. Bassist also described a photoengraving process very similar to print plate production. Littlefield described a similar methodology. an improvement over die-cutting. . Arthur Berry filed for a patent which described a method of manufacturing circuits for electric heaters. which left stress-concentrating sharp corners. His patent described the process of coating metal with a resist prior to etching. in which metal was etched away. Later.

or gold pattern onto a low-temperature metal alloy through a contact mask. silver.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY The next inventor to rise to the occasion was Charles Ducas. . One version involved electroplating a copper. whose patent described both etching and plated-up conductors.

and Ducas went on to describe multilayer circuits and a means of interconnecting the layers.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Another Ducas process involved forming grooves in dielectrics such as wax and filling them with conductive paste. Both sides of the dielectric could be circuitised. . which was then electroplated.

This was Edison's basic concept and one of Ducas's methods. followed by applying copper powder to the wet ink.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY Frenchman Cesar Parolini disclosed improvements in additive processing when he patented the printing of patterns with adhesive onto dielectric. but Parolini implemented it fully and added the concept of jumper wires .

. added a copper plating step.G. In 1933. Franz added conductive carbon particles to polymer ink for printing on cellophane or similar lamina and. perhaps aware of Parolini's earlier work.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS HISTORY 1920¶s and 30¶s ± many other inventors exploit print and plate technologies. E.

Life was difficult being Jewish in Austria/Germany at the time Escaped to England. eventually interned as an enemy alien but Released in 1941 Used his creativity to aid the defeat of the Nazis .PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Introducing the µFather¶ of the PCB Paul Eisler ± Born in Austria in 1907 In early 1930¶s worked for HMV improving radio reception on trains.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Introducing the µFather¶ of the PCB In late 30¶s in England. . Eisler took a radio he had made to bits and took it apart and replaced all the wire-to-wire connections with flat circuitry he made from strips of copper foil varnished on Bakelite-backed paper. The US Army were applying some of the techniques Developed by Eisler in the production of rugged & robust radio sets. Nearly sold the idea to Plessey in 1936 but production staff turned it down ± women labour was cheaper and more flexible! By 1943.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Introducing the µFather¶ of the PCB At the end of the war. Founded Technograph Printed Circuits Ltd and filed many patents for printed heating and electrical interconnect circuitry. Eisler and his wife were making electrodeposited copper foil on planar substrates and etching it with ferric chloride. His most important patents dealt with etching .

. photosensitive coatings were perfected that enable the widespread use of photoengraving.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Introducing the µFather¶ of the PCB Etching had been perfected by the printing industry hundreds of years before in plate making. An etch resist was used that was mechanically scraped away During the 1800s.

He became embroiled in legal patent arguments in US because British patents had constantly referenced µas used in the printing industry¶ . electrodeposited copper foil and therefore Etched completely through the metal to isolate conductors.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Introducing the µFather¶ of the PCB Eisler¶s technique however was different Printers generally etched into a layer of thick copper Eisler used thin.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS The Rise of the PCB in the 1950¶s PCB becomes commonplace in consumer products Aided strongly by US releasing invention for common use in 1948 Eisler therefore unsuccessful with US patent attempts .

This method is called through-hole construction. or wave. every electronic component generally had wire leads.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS The Rise of the PCB in the 1950¶s In the 1950¶s. of molten solder in a wave-soldering machine. and the PCB had holes drilled for each wire of each component. . This could be done automatically by passing the board over a ripple. The components were then soldered to the PCB.

and the wires are merely cut off. However. It costs money to drill the holes. the wires and holes are wasteful. .PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS The Rise of the PCB in the 1950¶s Through-hole mounting is still useful in attaching physically-large and heavy components to the board.

PCB passed through IR oven to cure solder . Solder paste also acts as temporary adhesive.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS 1960¶s and Onwards Surface Mount Technology Developed Components made with small contact pads that are physically held by solder to the conductors. Solder paste generally applied by screen printing process and components mounted on.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS 1960¶s and Onwards Surface Mount Technology Developed .

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Advantages of Surface Mount ‡smaller components ‡no need to drill holes through abrasive boards ‡simpler automated assembly ‡small errors in component placement are corrected automatically as the molten solder pulls the component into place by surface tension ‡components can be fitted to both sides of the circuit board .

FR5 etc. Substrates developed that are compatible with this technology. Generally matted glass fibres with epoxy based ± e. . FR4.PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS 1960¶s and Onwards ± Copper Foil Bonding Patterned Conductive Interconnects Subtractive technique of copper foil bonding to whole substrate and removing unwanted metal becomes generally adopted.g. Copper foil is typically 10¶s of microns in thickness.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS 1960¶s and Onwards ± Copper Foil Bonding Copper foil is generally pressed while heated onto the substrate with µadhesive¶ Substrates developed which are made of epoxy and glass fibres to which this process can be done ± Bonding aided by Tg of the epoxy. Substrates such as FR4 become prominent. .

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS 1960¶s and Onwards ± Copper Patterning Unwanted copper etched away with ferric chloride ± remember Eisler! Photolithography exploited and developed further to produce patterns Light sensitive photoresists used as patternable barriers for etch Design technology developed to produce circuitry as exposable medium for transfer into photoresist ± e. photomask ± clear acetate with dark emulsion as opaque regions .g.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Photolithography with a Photomask Copper clad substrate covered with photoresist Photomask placed over photoresist during exposure .

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Photolithography with a Photomask After exposure. photoresist developed Copper left exposed in regions to be removed .

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Photolithography with a Photomask Exposed copper etched away with ferric chloride Photoresist then removed .

Photomask acetates designed on CAD packages and printed . copper clad FR4 can be bought from RS etc A light box can be easily made for exposing Of course in industry much more sophisticated equipment is used! .PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Photolithography with a Photomask A basic photomask for a simple PCB can be made today with an inkjet transparency and a printer. Photoresist covered. Circuit design made on pc.much better resolution and quality.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Alternatives for Patterned Resist Techniques also developed since the 1960¶s to screen print resist onto copper layer ± no exposure undertaken. . Resolution not as good as photolithography in terms of resolved feature sizes but a good method for mass production of low cost boards.

Z axis control.Y or X. Y. This requires sophisticated plotting equipment in either X. This is another Subtractive Method .PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Alternative for Patterning Copper A milling tool can be used to µcut¶ away the unwanted copper to leave a desired pattern.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Simple Schematic for Producing a 1 layer PCB .

Development of Solders Development of Components ± e. reduction in size etc. Multilayers ± PCB¶s with up to 24 layers ± interconnecting layers & electroplating. .PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS Some of the Areas of Interest for the Rest of the Course Development of Substrate Materials ± properties etc. chemistry etc. Problems with PCB¶s and measures to overcome them.g. etc.

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