RF stands for Radio Frequency and RF printed circuit boards are used in wireless applications such as smartphones, security devices and military radars. They operate on medium and extremely high frequencies (megahertz and gigahertz) and are usually multi-layer boards, which can be fine-tuned by mixing different materials to strengthen the balance of cost, electrical performance and thermal properties.
Specialist equipment is required for the manufacture of RF boards, such as plasma etch machinery which is needed to ensure high levels of quality in the thru-holes with minimum deviance. Thermal control is key, due to the greater range of frequencies supported by these boards, therefore the materials used in manufacture need to ensure stability at high temperatures. These are often a combination of PTFE, hydrocarbon, ceramics and various forms of glass