Laser Selective Plating

Integrating Antenna Circuits Directly on a Part’s Housing

Jabil laser selective plating is an electroless process that puts a metal circuit directly on a plastic component. First, a laser etches a circuit pattern on a substrate such as an injection-molded polymer. A machine then deposits a conductive material, such as copper, nickel, tin, or gold, on the substrate. The metal sticks only to the laser-etched areas, so after removing the excess, an electrical circuit remains.

This advanced technique enables integrating antenna circuits directly on a part’s housing — efficiently combining components — to deliver a smaller, lighter, and more durable product. Applications of this technology include antennas for smartphones and mobile devices, GPS units, and portable medical devices. Importantly, processes can subsequently decorate these plated parts with paints or other surface treatments.

Key advantages of laser selective plating include:

  • Greater flexibility for design changes
  • Creating circuits on a 3D surface
  • Increasing signal quality with a larger, more-effective pattern

Jabil’s Laser Selective Plating expertise is located throughout the world.