Microwave Journal
Additive Thin Film

Additive Thin Film

September 28, 2018

The additive process defines circuit lines by adding (electroplating) conductive material on top of a thin metal film that’s been fully-sputtered onto a substrate. The places where metal is added are defined by a stencil of photoresist material that remains on the metal film following photolithography. The subtractive process defines circuit lines by removing (chemical etching) conductive material out of a thick metal film that’s been sputtered onto a substrate. 

additive process will likely achieve:

  •  More uniform circuit lines (i.e., same width top and bottom)
  •  More consistent trace definition
  •  More consistent circuit electrical and mechanical performance
  •  Thinner and therefore more flexible circuits (where needed)
  •  Higher density circuit resolution (more conductive traces packed into a smaller area)
  •  More control across a wider range of circuit resolution, flexibility/rigidness, and trace thickness

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