Single Layer Pcbs

Written by Adam Blau
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Printed circuit boards (PCBs) can come in a variety of thicknesses and complexities, depending on the intended usage. Complex circuits, or those that need specific grounding options, can be constructed in multiple layers. Others can consist of a simple non-conductive core with copper coating on one or both sides.

For the simplest and most visibly comprehensible circuit boards, one layer of conductive surface will suffice. On these boards, all of the functional circuitry rests on one side of the board. The other side can be left blank, or reserved for labeling purposes.

Constructing a Single-Layer PCB

In order to construct such a single-layer PCB, many companies will use the same raw material that they use to fabricate a double-sided PCB. These raw boards generally consist of a non-conductive surface plated on each side with conductive copper. The copper is imprinted with a design that will resist a chemical etching.

On a single-layer PCB, the etch resist is only placed on one side of the board. When the board is later subject to an etching, all that will remain is the area which had been coated with this resist. The rest of the board will become a non-conductive surface, allowing the circuit design to exist by itself on the PCB. Since the opposite side of the board had no etch resist on it, the entire copper plating will be removed.

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