Engineers of the Lithuanian company Neurotechnology have developed a completely contactless device for soldering, in which positioning of the part occurs due to directional ultrasonic radiation, and the soldering itself is carried out with the help of a laser. This is reported on the company’s website.
Sound is an acoustic wave that moves through space. Acoustic levitation isbased on the fact that the radiators directed at each other create a so-called standing wave. In this case, the wave “freezes” in place and only its amplitude changes. Since the sound wave is a pressure fluctuation, in this case regions with increased and reduced pressure are formed in space. Provided that the size of the object is much smaller than the wavelength of sound, such an object may hang in these areas.
In itself, levitation with ultrasound is not new, but Lithuanian engineers decided to create on its basis a full-fledged device for practical use. The demonstrated apparatus consisted of several parts. The basis of the design was four arrays of ultrasonic radiators, which together formed a square frame. A camera and a laser were fixed above it.
The developers argue that potentially this design can serve as a 3D printer, but so far demonstrated it as an apparatus for soldering chip parts. Inside the frame was placed the main board, as well as details, such as chips. The chip was captured by ultrasonic radiation. The computer using the camera determined the position of the part on the board and moved it to the right place. After the part was placed in the necessary place, the laser soldered it to the board.
The developers also showed the movement of small drops of water and metal. The company is going to finalize this technology to the level at which it can be used not in the laboratory, but at the real production of microelectronics.
In 2015, British physicists were able to make a breakthrough in acoustic levitation, forcing objects to soar with the help of a one-way radiator, rather than two-way, as in other developments.