January 25, 2012 — 2E mechatronic GmbH & Co. KG designed a 3D molded interconnect device (MID) flow sensor that uses Ticona’s Vectra E840i LDS laser-activated liquid crystal polymer (LCP) for electronic circuits. The Vectra E840i forms circuits on 3D injection moldings produced with a Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process.
The sensor is injection molded entirely from Vectra E840i LDS, specially developed for use with the LPKF Laser & Electronics AG LDS process. The tracks on the 12 x 10 x 6mm component are etched with LPKF laser equipment that selectively activates the laser-sensitive additive in the Ticona LCP. The circuit pattern is subsequently electrolysis plated.
Vectra E840i LDS MID specialty grade is 40% mineral filled with special LDS additive, reflow solderable, and more isotropic than typical glass-filled LCP. It has a high melt temperature and its heat deflection temperature (HDT) prevents softening during reflow. Its flow characteristics enable miniaturization, reducing component weight. It has a low humidity absorption, low warpage, no flash, and high dimensional stability. Other benefits include low coeffecient of thermal expansion (CTE) and inherent UL-94 V0 compliance without fire-retardant additives.
The process offers cost-efficient, low-volume packaging for sensor, microphone module, and ring contact designs, among others. Design changes to the conductor tracks are simply implemented by reprogramming the laser.
This sensor is used in air conditioning systems. 2E mechatronic worked on the chip-based sensor project with relay and switch specialist Gruner AG, research institute HSG Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft and micro-sensor developer MicroMountains Applications AG, all of Germany. Harting Mitronics has developed MIDs such as a camera module MID with a Vectra E840i LDS substrate for the Sick V300 Work Station camera. Other potential applications include a laser-structured MID-LED light component for dental lamps, automats, and house and street lighting.
Ticona will showcase its Vectra LCP specialty grades for electrical and electronic components at DesignCon 2012, Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 in Santa Clara, CA, Booth #218.
Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of specialty materials and chemical products. Ticona, the engineering polymers business of Celanese Corporation, produces and markets a range of high performance products. For more information, please visit www.ticona.com or www.ticona.cn (Chinese language).