Thin-film substrates

Thin-film technology uses semiconductor and microsystem technology processes to produce circuit boards on ceramic or organic materials. The metal deposition methods used in vacuum processes, and the flexibility that can be achieved in terms of thickness and type of metallization in particular, really set thin-film technology apart from printed circuit board technology.

Interconnection carriers (substrates) in thin-film technology enable extreme connection densities, high-precision geometries of conductors and insulator materials and high thermal conductivity, while offering maximum reliability.

Compared with conventional printed circuit boards and thick-film substrates, however, substrates in thin-film technology usually entail higher costs. Consequently, they are used in cases where cheaper technologies cannot provide an adequate technical solution.

The possibility of a higher track resolution means that the interconnection density on a given space can be increased, thereby achieving higher connectivity compared to the alternatives in thick-film or LTCC technology.

Increasing signal rates in telecommunications means higher operating frequencies, which place greater demands on the quality of the insulator materials and the accuracy of the structures. Thin-film technology is impressive in terms of the usability, for example, of ceramic or quartz glass as a substrate material, and the high structural fidelity that can be achieved with tolerances up to +/-2 µm for the track width.

Moreover, the materials that can be used open up applications, for example, in extreme thermal conditions or within biological bodies, for instance by combining ceramic with gold as a conductor material, enabling the production of biocompatible structures.

  • Portfolio
    • Thin-film substrates on polymer, ceramic, steel, glass, ferrite, etc.
    • Multilayer circuits on ceramic with polyimide as the insulator material
    • Flexible multilayer circuits with very high resolution (10 µm) (0.4 mil)
    • Integrated resistors and couplers
    • Thick copper thin-film circuits for high-performance applications
    • High-precision, high-impedance resistors/resistor networks
    • Copper-filled via
    • Fast prototyping for standard ceramic circuits
  • Rigid thin-film substrates

    For decades, thin-film substrates based on rigid substrate materials have been produced and used for applications such as space travel, radar technology and sensor systems. In addition to the standard material Al2O3, which is available in various grades, aluminum nitride is also becoming increasingly more common, particularly in applications requiring increased thermal conductivity. Circuits are also produced on ferrite material or even glass, for example, which can be adapted to a wide variety of applications.

  • Flexible thin-film substrates

    In the field of flexible thin-film substrates, the technologies and processes used for manufacturing circuits are the same as those used for rigid substrates. However, the emphasis here is on the use of organic materials, which are either processed from the liquid phase as insulators (or substrates) or which may already be present as film material. In this area, various forms of polyimide or LCP (liquid crystalline polymer) are primarily used as substrate material. When it comes to flexible substrates, the range of material thickness extends from a few micrometers up to several 100 µm, for example in LCP-based multilayer circuits.