Finest Conductor Paths With Laser Direct Structuring to 5G Antennas

LPKF's LDS process for structuring conductor paths, developed and patented years ago, could now prove to be a key technology in the manufacture of 5G-capable antennas.

For the production of antennas in or on the smallest electronic components, the requirements of the fifth mobile radio generation can be a major challenge. The aim is to achieve higher frequencies and higher data throughput. The Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process developed and patented by LPKF is a key to this. It quickly and easily generates antennas directly on three-dimensional plastic components of any shape. There is no need for cost-intensive and lossy connectors.

The higher the frequency of an antenna, the finer are its structures. Laser systems operate with high precision and are able to produce minimal structures with only 25 µm conductor path and insulation channel width. With antennas manufactured using the LDS method, the frequencies of 77 GHz required for 5G can be realized.

The processing of 3D-MIDs with LDS is very economical compared to other methods. This is particularly interesting for the mobile phone industry, which is increasingly avoiding aluminum housings because of the frequencies required in 5G smartphones. As a result, plastic is becoming the focus of technological attention - and with it the LDS process.

And this technology is not only important for use in smartphones: 5G is always used where high data rates are required, for example in autonomous driving or in industrial 4.0 applications.