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Microstrip Bandpass Filters - a Comparative Study

November 2017
A typical question asked by users demands clarification of how high the precision of material processed in an in-house lab is in comparison with the quality achievable in later production. In response to this, LPKF experts conducted a comparative study of three processes: the mechanical processes of laser ablation and milling and the chemical etching process.
 
Bandpass filter 2.4 GHz
Bandpass filter 2.4 GHz
“LPKF ProtoLaser U4 – Application Report. Comparison of Different Production Methods” is the title of the publication that documents the test results. For each method, the LPKF experts produced one PCB prototype for a microstrip bandpass filter (frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 10 GHz) with the base materials FR4 (1.0 mm, 18 µm copper) and Rogers RO4003C (0.81 mm, 18 µm copper) to compare deviations in the board geometry.

They concluded that the laser process was excellent for producing the filters, whereas the etched and milled filters yielded measurements exhibiting greater deviations from the simulation. Compared with boards produced by etching, printed circuit boards produced with the ProtoLaser U4 showed identical or better performance. PCBs milled with the ProtoMat S103 showed a shift to higher frequencies. Production for the 10-GHz bandpass filter only took four minutes with the ProtoLaser U4 and eight minutes with the ProtoMat S103, whereas the externally etched boards took a week to be delivered.

Via frequency measurements, HF designers can modify board layouts and quickly manufacture the boards with the ProtoLaser U4 in-house to improve circuits. The ProtoLaser U4 is hence an ideal tool for rapid prototyping or low-volume manufacturing.

Download application report
 
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