Do you know that you can improve PCB devices with electrodeposition? PCB or Printed Circuit Boards are quite popular in the electrical/electronic world. But the integration of electrodeposition and PCB devices is a quite new concept. With electrodeposition, you can add tiny components to PCB devices easily.
Electrodeposition is an electrochemical process that helps to deposit materials on a substrate. With electrodeposition, you can deposit various nanostructures and semiconductor films on semiconducting or conducting substrates.
The following are the advantages of electrodeposition:
- The precursor compounds needed for electrodeposition are cheaper.
- The equipment needed for electrodeposition is cheaper than the equipment needed for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and plasma vapor deposition (PVD).
- Electrodeposition can be carried out at room temperature.
- Electrodeposition can be carried out at comparatively low voltages.
- You can use electrodeposition to introduce nanostructures to PCBs.
- When electrodeposition and PCB devices are combined, you can create very tiny circuits and devices.
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Before attempting to carry out electrodeposition, you must have a good knowledge of the tools and medium that you’ll use. Firstly, you should know that the chemical conditions must be kept constant throughout the process. Any change in the deposition conditions will have an effect on the roughness and geometry of the nanostructure that you are trying to integrate with your PCB. Conditions like current density, temperature, pH of the chemical bath, amount of impurities and conductivity must be kept constant.
To keep all these conditions constant, you will need a lot of practice first. You will also need to pay a lot of careful attention to the electrodeposition process. When the process is going on, and some of the reactants are used up, there will be changes in the pH and conductivity which will cause a change in current density. To keep the pH and the conductivity constant, you will need to add a small amount of electrolytic solution to the chemical bath constantly. While adding the solution, keep an eye on the current density and pH, so that you do not add too much of the electrolytic solution. This way, you can keep the deposition conditions constant throughout the whole electrodeposition process.
Biochemical sensors can be made with electrodeposition and PCB devices. The current biochemical sensors available are made based on things like fluorescence spectroscopy and surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonance shifts. But the addition of nanostructures through electrodeposition will make these sensors better.
Physisorptive and chemisorptive gas sensors have an active sensing layer consisting of polymer film that is deposited on interdigitated electrodes. The sensitivity and life of the devices can be made better if electrodeposition is used to deposit nanowire film on the electrodes.
Surface acoustic wave sensors that are used for detecting hazardous materials use silver and gold nanoparticles with a ligand to detect the target analyte. The ligand that is attached will bind to the analyte thus increasing the mass of the active sensing layer. But their detection range and longevity can be increased with the use of semiconductors combined with metallic nanoparticles through electrodeposition.
As you can see from the above examples, integrating electrodeposition and PCB devices together will bring a lot of creativity and improvements to the technological world. You can add unique materials and nanoparticles to PCB boards through electrodeposition. The metal contacts on electroplated PCB can take solder easily, and this will make it easier for them to be integrated into larger devices. The metal contacts on the PCB will act as the substrate during the electrodeposition process. You can add as many external components as you need through this.