PPS Film for 5G
Replace Liquid Crystalline Polymers (LCP)
Toray Industries, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, has created a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film that maintains the dielectric characteristics,flame retardancy, and chemical robustness of the polymer while remaining thermally resistant at 40°C higher than conventional counterparts.
The new film resists deformation and is dimensionally stable near its melting point. PPS is an engineering plastic that also offers good electrical insulation. It is crystalline, with a melting point of 280°C.
Benefits of the New Film
According to the company, employing the new film in flexible printed circuits offering 5G and other fast data rates would offer two benefits. First, the film would cut the transmission losses of communication devices at high frequencies. Second, it would help stabilize high-speed communication across the temperature and humidity spectrums. Flexible printed circuits are film-like wiring boards in which electrical circuits are formed on base materials from bonding thin, soft insulating base films with copper foil or other conductive metals.
Generally PPS film offers very good flame retardancy and chemical resistance while matching or exceeding the dielectric properties of LCP film, and is far less vulnerable to temperature and humidity extremes. On the downside, PPS film deforms easily at high temperatures and provides insufficient resistance to heat when soldering circuit boards.
These considerations drove Toray to blaze a new trail in film design. It was in the course of that effort that it developed a proprietary technology that controls the crystal structure of PPS films. It thereby maintained the good properties of PPS polymer while increasing thermal resistance. Testing to 250°C confirmed that Toray’s new PPS film does not deform. Increasing thermal resistance should make it possible to employ existing processing facilities of circuit boards. Toray attained a low coefficient of thermal expansion in the thickness direction of 98 ppm/°C by employing technology it has amassed over many years to control the orientation of film molecular chains.
The diverse applications that leveraging those features, including 5G transmission cables and antennas, should enable the design of smaller, multi-layered circuit boards. By taking advantage of the high thermal dimensional stability and cost-competitiveness of Torelina, its biaxially-oriented PPS film, Toray looks to secure the adoption of its new film in the FPC market, particularly for smartphones, and thereafter cultivate diverse applications, including for vehicular usage and base stations.
Toray Resins Europe GmbH (TREU)
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