Copper Etching Economics

Copper etching is very important in the electronics industry, particularly in the fabrication of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The thin electrolytic copper foil may be etched by many different types of etchant. Historically, the first etchant for copper was ferric chloride, and it is still used in industry today. However, over the last two decades, many new etchants have been introduced to the PCB industry. In this paper, various copper etchants, their regeneration and the economics associated with their use will be investigated with the objective of determining the most cost-effective solution for the etching of copper in the photochemical machining (PCM) industry. In this industry, copper has been etched up to a maximum thickness of 6mm.


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