Photofabrication Engineering Inc.

Enabling New Technologies through Metal Etching Applications

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Photo Etched Metal Parts for Semiconductors

Photofabrication Engineering, Inc. (PEI) is a global leader in the supply of photochemically- etched (or milled) precision parts to the semiconductor industry. It is no coincidence when we say, "We've got you covered!"

An entire department is dedicated to the production of custom and standard Step Lids & Flat Lids for seam-weldable microelectronic packages, including lids with getters for hydrogen and moisture absorption. PEI has thousands of standard lid tools available to meet almost every common specification; we also specialize in manufacturing custom lids (with a one-time tooling charge, which may be absorbed on large-volume orders). Our standard base material for lids is etching-grade iron-nickel-cobalt alloy, but in addition we can etch lids from many other materials, including nickel-200, stainless steel, and cold rolled steel. Numerous plating and finishing options are available, including gold plate, electrolytic nickel, and electroless nickel. Selective plating is also available upon request. With our large in-stock inventory of materials, PEI offers the fastest turn-around time for precision lids in the industry.

PEI’s EMI Shielding & RF Shielding line further extends our penetration into the semiconductor market. We offer a full line of EMI/RF shields with snap-on, snap-off covers, allowing easy access at any time to components within the shields. These shields are designed to protect components from radio frequency/electromagnetic interference and environmental hazards, and to provide electrical grounding. Standard forming tools are available in any size and shape to create covers that attach onto a fence yet can be removed and replaced easily.

Our photochemically-etched fences have grooves etched approximately 50% of the material thickness, so PEI’s custom spring finger designs snap into them firmly. PEI will quote on any existing shield that has a removable cover and apply our design to it; the only tooling charge will be for a phototool, NOT for a forming tool. Our innovative technology and extensive etching capabilities allow us to manufacture reliable, easy-to-use shielding at low cost and with fast deliveries.

Shielding options for circuit board applications include:
   • One-piece or two-piece construction.
   • Standard base materials including brass, tin, tin-lead, nickel, copper, and cold-rolled steel, all of which can be provided with solderable plating
   • Nickel-silver base material, which does not require additional finishing because it is already solderable

As well as lids and shields, PEI supplies a wide variety of custom and standard metal parts to the semiconductor industry, including lead frames, Kovar and molybdenum tabs, and chip carriers. We can etch virtually any metal, from basics like copper, brass and stainless steel to precious metals (including silver and gold) to exotic meals such as titanium, molybdenum, and beryllium copper.

PEI has achieved ISO-9001 and AS9100 certifications and, in 2010, was granted certification under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), allowing it to provide weapon systems components and accessories in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations implemented by the U.S. Department of State.

Another area of expertise for PEI is the manufacture of surface-mount and insert-mount photoetched lead frames to meet exacting electrical, thermal conductivity, and strength requirements for companies providing integrated circuits to the medical apparatus industry. These lead frames are used in a wide variety of applications including semiconductors, glass-to-metal seals, and relays.

Using base materials such as kovar, nickel-iron alloys, copper alloys, and pure nickel, PEI can plate lead frames in their entirety or selectively.  Lead-free plating materials include silver, nickel, gold, or tin, depending on the customer’s specific electrical and thermal conductivity requirements. Since the lead frame is the main conduit by which heat flows from the chip to the printed circuit board, PEI tailors the manufacturing material so that it will maximize the device’s operating life for any given application or environment.

PEI manufactures high-density lead frames with acute profiles and ultra-fine pitches, allowing for high pin counts. Single-sided or double-sided lead frames can be etched without incurring the stresses associated with typical machining methods. More importantly, PEI’s process can be used for lead frames that are too complicated for stamping. Dimensions can be held to extremely tight tolerances, with no burrs or other surface irregularities.

PEI’s lead frames range in thickness from 0.5 mil [0.0127 mm] to 40 mil [1.575 mm], with features as small as 4 mil [0.10 mm] on 0.010 in. [0.254 mm) centers, creating lead frames that are strong enough to be handled yet flexible enough to allow bending when necessary.

For high-quality etched parts from almost any metal, at the lowest possible price and with the fastest turn-around, talk to Photofabrication Engineering today about all of your product needs. PEI’s products are all proudly made in the U.S.A.

Some sample illustrations follow but please see the photo gallery for more applications:











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