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Tech Brief Describes Design Tips on Micron-scale Flex Circuits
When that call comes in there are only a few companies in the world who can handle it. In fact, these circuits often have feature sizes ranging from three to ten microns and can consist of six or more layers. At Metrigraphics, we call them ultra-miniature flex circuits and they often need to hold up under extreme conditions such as in aerospace applications, and perform in such adverse environments [...]Read More
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Ultra miniature flexible circuits are highly complex devices with some amazing characteristics. Metrigraphics makes circuits with feature sizes ranging from 3 to 10 microns, some of which are so flexible they can wrap around a pencil. Some of our ultra miniature flex circuits have as many as 6 layers (although 6 is not our limit), some can withstand extreme mechanical loads, and some can perform [...] Read More
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In an earlier blog post we discussed why micron-scale thin film circuits perform better when made using an additive versus a subtractive process. 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 [...] Read More
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Device makers have a choice of whether to specify an additive or subtractive process for fabricating the micron-scale circuits used in their products. Knowing the basic differences between the two is important. Choosing the right one can make a big difference in whether a circuit will perform as required. In general, an additive thin film process is much more likely to achieve: - Higher circuit [...] Read More
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Medical design is increasingly impacting miniaturization. Testament to this, as a micron-scale process developer and manufacturer, we’re receiving more and more requests from biosensor and device designers looking to push the limits. Circuits now need to bend and carry added functionality, and line traces and spaces are becoming smaller and tighter. This challenges us to push our own [...] Read More
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Does your product or application call for a very tiny part?  If so, nano-scale electroforming may be your best or even your only option. To find out for sure you’ll need to talk to someone with expertise and experience in this highly specialized field of manufacturing. To get that discussion started, here’s some background on the key factors that help determine nano-scale electroforming [...] Read More
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Are you looking for a reliable photolithography partner? At Metrigraphics, our proprietary photolithography process ensures that you get more consistent trace definition, thinner and therefore more flexible circuits (where needed) AND more uniform circuit lines (i.e., same width top and bottom).  Our process defines patterns at extremely fine resolutions on substrates that range in size [...] Read More
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For more than 50 years we've been a trusted supplier of precise optical components for motion control, analytical instrumentation, test and other optics markets — all designed and manufactured to impossibly high standards of precision and reliability. We design and fabricate ultra-small, micron-scale optical components that include: Rotary discs and linear encoder scales, Test targets, [...] Read More
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Giving Our Customers What They Want Metrigraphics’ customers have very high standards when it comes to selecting the source of their electroformed parts. They look for extreme capabilities in areas like: • Feature size • Feature controllability • Surface uniformity • Batch consistency • Component ruggedness In other words, our customers want parts [...] Read More
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The Making of Ultra-Precise, Ultra-Small Three-Dimensional Structures Precision electroforming is an additive process in which 2-D and 3-D microstructures are formed by electrochemically depositing metal into a precisely formed photoresist mold. Electroforming is ideal for fabricating micron-scale, metallic components as well as for making injection molds used for forming nonmetallic microstructures [...] Read More
Events
Metrigraphics is excited to be attending this year’s Del Mar Electronic & Manufacturing Show, May 2nd and 3rd in San Diego, CA. This event focuses on the consumer products and services in the field of home décor and electronics, as well as technology based products. DMEMS 2018 enables brands and companies to establish themselves and use various innovative ideas that enable them to [...] Read More
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Though a medical device designer may be an expert in the specific application and sensing technology employed in a device, this expertise does not necessarily translate to building that technology on a large scale with stringent reliability constraints. Moreover, because the variables and potential combinations are difficult to define, so to are standard design guidelines. Conventional flex circuits [...] Read More
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Though a device designer may be an expert in knowing the specific technology needed in a device, this expertise does not necessarily translate into knowing how to design and produce the necessary circuitry for the size, reliability, and mass production requirements that are critical to the new device’s success. Here are 3 quick tips to keep in mind when approaching the design of an ultra-small [...] Read More
Resources
Thin-film circuits can be applied to flexible polyimide substrates making them capable of being bent and shaped considerably without impact on circuit performance or reliability. As such, the combination of flexible material and thin-film circuit geometries is leading medical designers to consider how far they can go in an attempt to enhance their sensors for advanced procedures, and improved patient [...] Read More
Resources
When that call comes in there are only a few companies in the world who can handle it. In fact, these circuits often have feature sizes ranging from three to ten microns and can consist of six or more layers. At Metrigraphics, we call them ultra-miniature flex circuits and they often need to hold up under extreme conditions such as in aerospace applications, and perform in such adverse environments [...] Read More
Resources
Metrigraphics’ thin film process is a fundamental technology uniquely suited to the task of making miniature circuits with extremely small and uniform features that have extremely consistent electrical performance throughout. The process also tends to be much faster and less wasteful than subtractive manufacturing methods like chemical etching. That’s because only the conductive material [...] Read More
Resources
While many factors will enter a decision, on the basis of pure precision, electroforming excels. Additional advantages include layering options (electroformed metal can be molecularly bonded together) and the ability to introduce different substrate materials to produce complex structures. Common components include: nozzles, slits, clips, screen, mesh, embossing tools, and encoder disks, used in medical, [...] Read More
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The ultimate factor in deciding when not to use the Kapton polyimide film manufacturing method is a combination of desired size and flexibility. Basically, the moment you’re uttering “micron” as opposed to “mils”, best to start thinking about thin film. Conventional flex circuit manufacturing often starts with rolls of Kapton — a Dupont™ polyimide film pre-clad [...] Read More
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Electroforming, electrochemical machining (ECM), and electrical discharge machining (EDM) all use electrolytic baths. But only one is additive, which helps explain why it’s best for nano-scale components and structures.  Electrolytic baths have a long history as a way to add very thin layers of material to a target metal, as in silver or gold plating, or to remove material through electrolysis, [...] Read More
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Micron-scale flexible circuits from Metrigraphics can be produced in multi-layers and with circuit lines as narrow as 3 microns. They’re flexible enough to wrap around small objects and are durable enough for harsh MIL-COM environments. Circuits are achieved via high-resolution photolithography, as well as sputtered thin-film and plated metal deposition techniques. Multilayer flexible circuits [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics recently announced their move to Lowell, MA. This move provides additional space to accommodate company growth and allow for greater advances in the manufacturing of their customers products. The greatest benefits lie in the addition of the class 10,000 clean room and increased space dedicated to Electroforming. Both the clean room and larger plating area will facilitate quality improvements, [...] Read More
News
As today’s battlefield gets more and more tactical, critical communications have never been more important. And as radios and subsystems are being pushed to become smaller and even more ruggedized, it’s causing a chain reaction right down to the circuit level. Where once rigid and thick film technologies were primary go-to solutions, today’s military communication applications are [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics today announced it has launched advanced 3D electroforming services. These services are an ideal solution for OEMs looking to integrate complex multilevel structures manufactured at an almost atomic level of precision — and who also require high repeatability and high yield. Electroforming is an electroplating process that employs proprietary recipes carried out under carefully [...] Read More
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Metrigraphics today announced it has developed an advanced process for creating high aspect ratio three-dimensional microstructures. Precision electroforming can create three-dimensional, single or complex, multi-layer microstructures. Geometric options are unlimited because the X, Y, Z structural plane of each layer is formed by a photoresist image. Such structures may be freestanding or connected [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics today announced it is now routinely achieving one-micron resolution in their photolithography service. Metrigraphics can provide these services to customers looking to fabricate ultra-miniature rigid and flexible circuits, ultra-miniature electroformed structures, and high-precision optical devices such as rotary discs, encoders and reticles. Metrigraphics employs photolithography [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics today announced it has achieved breakthrough performances on key competitive benchmarks in the fabrication of precision optical components. These benchmarks include range of products, range of technologies, feature definition (e.g., edge definition and line-width tolerance), and optical precision. Metrigraphics achieved these results due to its advanced fabrication processes, it’s [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics today announced it has developed an advanced process for applying metal layers to circuit substrates and to polyimide layers on multilayer circuits. The process works for both rigid and flexible circuits. The new process achieves superior results based on a number of important market criteria, including a wide range of component sizes, coating thicknesses, substrate materials, and [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics today announced it has developed new breakthroughs in processing substrate-based ultra-miniaturized circuits. The additive processes used are an alternative to traditional chemical etching, which causes circuit lines to slope, resulting in performance variations and yield issues.  Using these new additive fabrication techniques, Metrigraphics can now manufacture circuits in high [...] Read More
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Metrigraphic today announced it has achieved large-scale production of micron-scale flexible circuits six or more layers high with traces (circuit lines) as narrow as 3 microns (11.81x10-5 inches). The circuits are so flexible they can be wrapped around objects with diameters as small as a pencil. Products include single-layer flex, multi-layer flex, coils, sensor components, and electrodes (neuro-stimulation). Applications [...] Read More
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Metrigraphics announced today the launch of their new website which features their core manufacturing services for brands needing ultra-small, sub-micron scale electrical, mechanical and optical circuits and structures. The services section focuses on Metrigraphics’ in-depth experience and capabilities in Thin Film, Photolithography, Metallization, and Electroforming. Their core capabilities [...] Read More
News
Metrigraphics announces the capability to develop Extreme Resolution Micro Flex (ERMF) Circuits for medical sensor applications, including various in body and fluid sensors.   Using additive photolithographic processes, ERMF circuits can be manufactured with traces and spaces as small as 5µm. They can also be delivered in complex, high-resolution shapes and [...] Read More
News
The selection of Metrigraphics LLC as a second source for a tiny sensor substrate has bloomed into big business, with deliveries of the micro flex circuit surpassing 14 million units this month.  Metrigraphics works with designers and engineers to take their designs and fabricate them at rapid rates.  Currently, Metrigraphics can create sensors at a rate of 100,000+ units per week. The [...] Read More
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Knowing how to more effectively source small parts at high yields is a key success factor for medical OEMs looking to pack highly innovative designs into very small products.   We are receiving a lot more inquiries these days from medical OEMs. These companies are busy turning a growing backlog of scientific innovations into marketable products that will advance healthcare and grow businesses. [...] Read More