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Three Dimensional Circuit Board Technology David Perreault MIT IdeaStream April 8, 2004 Background Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) form the backbone of most electronic systems $30B/yr market

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three dimensional circuit board technology

Three Dimensional CircuitBoard Technology

David Perreault

MIT

IdeaStream

April 8, 2004

background
Background
  • Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) form the backbone of most electronic systems
    • $30B/yr market
  • Traditionally provide mechanical support and medium-density electrical interconnections among components
  • Copper foil is bonded to an insulator (laminate) and etched to form planar interconnect patterns
    • Multilayer boards are fabricated by stacking up layers
    • Holes are drilled and plated to interconnect layers
  • Planar interconnections
    • Pattern resolution is typically > 0.1 mm
    • Copper thickness 0.018 mm – 0.18 mm
pcb functionality
PCB Functionality
  • Printed circuit boards have taken on increasing degrees of functionality in modern circuit applications, e.g.:

Busbars Heatsinking

Magnetic windings

Conventional PCBs are not very effective for these functions

three dimensional circuit boards
Three-Dimensional Circuit Boards
  • We are exploiting the third dimension to enable improved functionality: 3DPCBs
    • Component heights are typically ~1 mm+, so heights up to 1 mm are often “free”
  • Simple vertical patterns enable many important functions to be better realized
    • Heat sinks
    • Busbars
    • Magnetic windings
    • EMI shielding
    • Waveguides and resonators
three dimensional patterning
Three-Dimensional Patterning
  • To build in the third dimension, we employ photosensitive epoxies to form “molds” and “scaffolds”
    • Photolithography used to pattern 3D structures
    • Conductors plated onto the structures
    • Additional photolithography steps may be added for further patterning
  • Fabrication techniques and materials are largely compatible with existing processes
    • Photolithography
    • Electroplating
    • Etching
mime fabrication method magnetic winding example

(a)

(b)

(d)

(c)

MIME Fabrication Method(magnetic winding example)
  • Copper is electroplated into a 3D Mold
    • The mold can be removable with additional steps
scaffold fabrication method heat sink example
Scaffold Fabrication Method(heat sink example)
  • The patterned epoxy forms a 3D scaffold
  • Copper is deposited, patterned, and electroplated
3dcb winding scaffold

1.5 mm

Pin width is 1.5 mm

3DCB Winding Scaffold

Vertical Structure:

Height: 0.65 mm

summary
Summary
  • Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) form the backbone of most electronic systems
    • Planar interconnects
    • Limited functionality
  • Three-Dimensional Circuit Boards (3DCBs) offer advantages for many common functions
    • Busbars, windings, heat sinks, EMI shields, waveguides
  • Fabrication methods are proposed for effective 3DCBs
    • Methods and materials are compatible with existing PCB processes
  • Results to date support the viability of 3DCBs
slide11

Three-Dimensional Mold (enhanced contrast)

1.5 mm diameter

1.2 mm deep wells of 1.5 mm diameter