A direct-writing approach to the micro-patterning of copper onto polyimide

J. H G Ng, M. P Y Desmulliez, M. Lamponi, B. G. Moffat, A. McCarthy, H. Suyal, A. C. Walker, K. A. Prior, D. P. Hand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a novel manufacturing process that aims to pattern metal tracks onto polyimide at atmospheric pressure and ambient environment. The process can be scaled up for industrial applications. Design/methodology/approach - From a thorough literature survey, different approaches were carried out for processing polyimide. Following a design of experiments for the processing and various characterisation techniques, a micro-coil was manufactured as a test demonstrator. Findings - The characteristics of some main formaldehyde-based electroless copper baths were compared. The quality of the sidewalls was characterised and the performance of the process was assessed. Originality/value - This paper demonstrates a high-value manufacturing technique that is mass manufacturable, low cost and suitable for use on 3D surfaces. Criteria required for the development of a direct-writing process have been described. The issues surrounding electroless plating on polyimide have been explained. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalCircuit World
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009


  • Copper
  • Electronic engineering
  • Lasers
  • Metallizing
  • Polymers


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