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SME's chance for Reliable and Ultramodern Multilayer Board Manufacturing


Several techniques are available to provide Multi Layer Boards (MLB's) with finer lines. Larger companies such as ISL, Philips and Ruwel do major investments in PB and MLB manufacturing equipment (such as imaging) to manufacture fine line MLB's. Only with very high turnover figures such investments (around millions of ECU) can be justified. This constitutes a substantial problem for Small and Medium size (SME) MLB Manufacturing Enterprises (around 450 in Europe) that do not have sufficient volume to justify such major investments. SME's have to investigate alternative ways to manufacture fine line MLB's. An alternative is to decrease the thickness of copper layers (now around 17,5 pm) used in the MLB-production process due to the fact that thinner copper layers reduce the problem of "under etching" in the production of line patterns. Very thin copper layers are extremely difficult to handle. An opportunity to substantially decrease the thickness can be found in a new process of laminate manufacturing developed by AMP AKZO LinLam V.o.F. This new process produces laminates in a continuous way. The handling of copper-foil from roll enables the application of extremely thin foils without deformation. In the SCRUM project several SME MLB manufacturers together with a manufacturer of PB manufacturing equipment want to engage a RTD Performer to investigate whether it is possible to produce a laminate reinforced very thin continuous (LARCOT) copper foil (direct application of copper on laminate) that can be handled in the MLB-production process. The SME-companies want to search further partners to establish a wider core-group SME's (MLB-manufacturers) in a common objective to have a new base material developed. The objective is to finally realise a LARCOT copper foil (with 12 pm or even 9 pm copper) with an adhesive layer on the other side that can function both as (reinforced) copper foil and as alternative to prepreg. It is the aim of the MLB manufacturers to reduce as such the line density to less than 120 pm width and space given the current etching and imaging processes (the current common practice is a line width of 150 pm) and in the meantime improve the handling, the MLB production yields (less outfall) and reliability of the MLB. Targeted innovations in the SCRUM project are:

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


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