4 Main Applications of UV Lasers in Industrial PCBs

February 3, 2021
Latest company news about 4 Main Applications of UV Lasers in Industrial PCBs

Ultraviolet lasers are the best choice for various PCB material applications in many industrial fields. They are universal in the production of circuit boards, circuit wiring, and pocket-sized embedded chips.


Application 1: Surface etching/circuit production

Ultraviolet lasers work quickly when producing circuits and can etch surface patterns on circuit boards in a few minutes. This makes UV lasers the best choice for producing PCB samples.

The size of the UV laser beam can reach 10-20μm, which is very suitable for the production of flexible circuit traces. The circuit traces are extremely small and need to be seen under a microscope.

Application 2: PCB removal

The mechanical disassembly method is easy to damage the sensitive and thin substrate, which brings trouble when disassembling the flexible and rigid-flex circuit board.

UV laser cutting can not only eliminate the influence of mechanical stress, but also reduce thermal stress.

Application 3: Drilling

The small beam size and low stress properties of UV lasers are also very suitable for drilling, including through holes, micro holes and blind buried holes. The UV laser system drills holes by focusing a vertical beam and cutting straight through the substrate. Depending on the material used, holes as small as 10μm can be drilled.

Ultraviolet lasers are particularly useful for multi-layer drilling. Multi-layer PCBs use composite materials to be hot die cast together. These so-called "semi-cured" will separate, especially after using higher temperature laser processing. However, the relatively stress-free properties of UV lasers solve this problem.

During the manufacturing process, many conditions can cause damage to the circuit board, including broken solder joints, cracked components or delamination. Either factor will cause the circuit boards to be thrown into the waste bin instead of into the container.


Application 4: Deep carving

Another application that demonstrates the versatility of UV lasers is deep engraving, which includes multiple forms. Using the software control of the laser system, the laser beam is set for controlled ablation.

UV lasers can also perform multi-step operations on the substrate. On the polyethylene material, the first step is to use a laser to create a groove with a depth of 0.05mm, the second step is to create a groove of 0.2mm on the basis of the previous step, and the third step is to create a groove of 0.25mm.


Conclusion: a universal method

The most striking thing about UV lasers is that they can use a single step to complete all the above applications. What does this mean for manufacturing circuit boards? People no longer need to complete a certain application on different equipment, but only one processing can get a complete part.

This first-class linear production solution helps eliminate the quality control problems that arise when the circuit boards are switched between different processes. The UV non-debris ablation feature also means that no post-processing cleaning is required.