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Properties of thick-film photoimageable inks for LTCC substrates

  Miniaturization of electronic circuits is strongly associated with miniaturization of conductive paths and pads. It also refers to thick-film technology. Fabrication of details narrower than 150 μm by using of standard screen-printing is very difficult task. There are few more precise techniques - for example photoimageable inks method [1, 2]. It enables to create even several-micrometers wide paths. The inks prepared at Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME) were tested. The compatibility between such inks and LTCC (Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics) substrates was especially an object of interest. The investigations were performed at Wrocław University of Technology, Warsaw University of Technology or Dresden Technical University. The path’s resolution, inks shrinkage as well as chosen electrical and mechanical properties (electrical resistivity, solderability, adhesion, shear resistance) were determined. Fabrication The photoimageable films were made using standard screen-printing combined with photolithography [3]. A special ink was screen- printed onto the substrate (Fig. 1a). The investigated pastes had good UV-resistance and using of UV-filters was unnecessary [4]. However, they need large amount of radiation during exposing. A proper photomask caused that only selected areas of ink were polymerized by UV light (Fig. 1b). The Hibridas Exposure Unit MA-4K were used. Remaining areas stayed unpolymerized and it was possible to remove them in the next technological step - spraying with proper developing solution (Fig. 1c). The Hibridas Developer Unit SC-4K and ethanolamine solution were used. As a result pattern from the photomask was transferred onto the substrate. The last technological step was firing of achieved layer in t[...]

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