Creating Microwave Circuits: A Breakdown

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Microwave circuits are created through a process that’s as easy as using the microwave itself.

Microwave circuits are the brains of that big box that you use to heat up last night’s leftovers with. Public knowledge is that there is some radiation involved, mixed with a type of circuit that turns your lumpy food into a steaming feast again. In this article, there will be a breakdown of how this “little” microwave circuit is created.


While there are several different ways to create a microwave circuit, there are two common ways. What they both share in common is that they both utilize an ion beam etching, or milling, process in which excess material is taken off to create an exclusive pattern. They are also both protected by a photoresistant as well.


The first method that’s going to be described involves a wet environment in which the substrate is submerged into a bunch of chemicals. This etching solution is isotropic and the lines of the substrate are undercut by the solution, revealing a pattern.


Another process involves ion beam deposition and etching without any liquid solution involved. This is a dry etching method that utilizes a tool that is similar to a sand blaster. The substrate is mounted on a table inside of a vacuum chamber and is then “sandblasted” via atomic methods.

The Final Say

These methods create the basic structure of the circuit and while they may seem invariably different, they both produce the same quality. Whether done through a specially-designed solution or through ion beam sputter deposition, the circuit will still end up performing its tasks by keeping your stomach full.