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12 The PCB Magazine • November 2014 by Daniel Schulze and René Tölke, dYConeX aG, Ilse Widmann, miCro sYstems teChnoloGies (mst) Noble Metal PCB Manufacturing for Direct Implants f e a t u r e The market of active implantable devices requires new strategies in designing and man- ufacturing the relevant components (e.g., the electronic modules). The request for continu- ously smaller devices to achieve improved pa- tient comfort with even higher functionalities asks as well for further miniaturization on PCBs (Figure 1). Combining existing PCB manufac- turing technology with technologies from the thin film industries allows integration of new functionalities while reducing the footprint and the number of components. DYCONEX AG has demonstrated the use of PCBs in in-vivo applications without additional sealing or housing by applying noble metals as conductors on biocompatible PCB materials. For short-term implants the use of gold-plated copper traces has proven good results in sever- al clinical studies. For long-term implants the market requests completely copper-free struc- tures (Figure 2). These copper-free substrates have been man- ufactured by combining standard PCB processes with thin film deposition methods as used in the MEMS industry. Using thin film technolo- gies, resolutions within the nanometer range can be achieved by combining the know-how between standard PCB and semiconductor in- dustry. As an example a typical high-density

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