Three dimensional circuit board technology
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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 l.jpg

Three Dimensional CircuitBoard Technology

David Perreault

MIT

IdeaStream

April 8, 2004


Background l.jpg
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 l.jpg
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 l.jpg
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 l.jpg
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 l.jpg

(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 l.jpg
Scaffold Fabrication Method(heat sink example)

  • The patterned epoxy forms a 3D scaffold

  • Copper is deposited, patterned, and electroplated


3dcb winding scaffold l.jpg

1.5 mm

Pin width is 1.5 mm

3DCB Winding Scaffold

Vertical Structure:

Height: 0.65 mm


Three dimensional circuit board structure 1 2 mm high l.jpg

1.5 mm diameter

1.2 mm deep wells of 1.5 mm diameter

Three-Dimensional Circuit Board Structure (1.2 mm high)


Summary l.jpg
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 l.jpg

Three-Dimensional Mold (enhanced contrast)

1.5 mm diameter

1.2 mm deep wells of 1.5 mm diameter


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