Laser Activation Circuit (LAP) is the name of a process where the designed antenna is formed on a pre-treated plastic surface mainly through the operation of a laser beam. The plastic base material used in this production is no longer limited to special materials like in LDS technology, but can be selected from common materials that are more suitable for the given application. The LAP process combines the advantages of the original LDS with wider options for materials to make the antenna design, for example: materials that help to increase the antenna bandwidth or have specific electrical properties (e.g. better resistance than materials used for LDS).
The six steps of the laser activation circuit process:
- General thermoplastic injection molding
- Evenly apply the bridging agent on the plastic surface
- Laser fixation: using the laser light to fix the bridging agent of the circuit block on the plastic surface, and then remove the excess bridging agent
- Metallization (electroplating): electroplating creates a copper (or other metal) layer on the surface area where the bridging agent is left to form the desired antenna pattern; the thickness of the metal layer can be adjusted to improve the electrical properties or oxidation resistance of the antenna on the base plastic.
- Surface treatment: when the surface of the antenna is exposed as the outer surface of the equipment, a spraying or other external surface treatment processes will be used to accomplish the required surface appearance
- Functional test: evaluation and verification of the electrical characteristics of the LAP antenna
In comparison with other technologies, LAP has two major advantages:
- When compared to flexible circuit board (FPC) antennas and metal stamping antennas, the LAP process can fully utilize the 3D area of the plastic mold to create the wiring required for high-performance antennas. Because the laser beam is used to draw the antenna pattern, there is only a need to re-program the laser pattern to complete the change of the antenna wiring without changing the molding die. Consequently, this is very efficient for producing antennas of various frequencies on the same plastic substrate.
- When compared to the Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process, the plastic materials that can be used in LAP are lower in cost and more diverse in types. As contrary to LDS, which needs to limit the use of particular materials, LAP suitable materials can cover such needs as special flame resistance, weather resistance, high temperature resistance, high strength or others.
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, there are additional advantages of using LAP technology, such as:
- Significantly shorter design time and research & development time
- Customized antenna design can be easily implemented and the performance can fulfill the real usage needs
- LAP antenna is compatible with the SMT process
The LAP process has been widely used in various antenna applications, such as:
- Mobile phones
- Internet-connected devices
- Shark fin antennas
Why is Unictron Technologies Corporation your best choice?
- In addition o the general PCB/FPC-based antenna technology, with Unictron Technologies Corporation you have an option to utilize the Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) technology as well as the Laser Engraving Activated Circuit (LAP) processes. Unictron continues to develop new related technologies in antenna manufacturing and precise mass production, providing flexible, fast service and selection in geometric 3D design. Our antenna R&D team has an extensive experience and knowledge in antenna design, LDS and LAP plastic materials. By integrating high-performance antennas into injection-molded 3D parts, we are able to provide you with more space-saving options and applicable processes to design the optimal antenna for your device. We offer competitive pricing and custom OEM/ODM antenna solutions that best align with evolving trends of increasing complexity and variety, antenna miniaturization, and efficient integration of multiple frequencies into one antenna element; the collective pursuit of antenna optimization.