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Leading smear removal, electroless copper

 

and direct plating process solutions

Our product portfolio

Desmear and metallization

Integrated wet chemical solutions for all key market segments including IC substrates, HDI/MLB and Flex/Flex-Rigid

Quick facts

  • Global market leader for horizontal high end HDI manufacturing
  • Worldwide market reference for desmear processes in all market segments
  • Over 100 vertical and 230 horizontal lines are running in mass production with our electroless copper processes

Applications

  • Desmear
  • Horizontal electroless copper
  • Vertical electroless copper
  • Direct plating
  • Metallization of glass substrates

Product portfolio

Desmear
direct plating desmear

Ajinomoto bare laminate: Prior and after desmear (magn. 1000x)

  • Atotech’s advanced desmear process series Securiganth® MV (for vertical application) and Securiganth® SAP (for horizontal application) enable outstanding cleaning and roughening performance. They represent the industry standard for the desmear of bare laminates required for the high-end IC Substrates based on the Semi-Additive Process (SAP) technology.
  • Securiganth® P and Securiganth® E: Products of the Securiganth® P and E series are perfectly suited for horizontal and vertical desmear for HDI, MLB and Flex-Rigid production. Atotech is the leading supplier of horizontal desmear-systems (chemistry and equipment) for state of the art HDI production.
  • Oxamat: Atotech’s production proven regeneration system Oxamat significantly reduces the sludge of manganate dioxide (MnO2) that is formed during the desmear process. The Oxamat system regenerates manganate to permanganate, thereby preventing the accumulation of sludge and related additional chemical dosing. Additionally, the Oxamat cuts maintenance time in half as less extensive cleaning cycles and make-ups are needed.
Horizontal electroless copper

Very good coverage and throwing power despite challenging geometry of the BMV

  • The electroless copper process Printoganth® SAP Plus in combination with Uniplate® LB Touchless Transport System (TTS) plating equipment enables outstanding surface distribution with excellent coverage on bare laminates used for SAP technology.
  • Printoganth® P Plus: Printoganth® P Plus offers very good adhesion and no blistering even on smoothest substrates due to favorable internal stress characteristics. Therefore it is the best choice for Flex / Flex-Rigid production and MLB / HDI manufacturing on demanding basematerials like PTFE or BT. Furthermore Printoganth® P Plus is the ideal choice for IC Substrates based on copper cladded MSAP or AMSAP technology because of the widely adjustable deposition rate and very good adhesion.
  • Printoganth® U Plus provides excellent copper to copper interconnections resulting in best reliability performance even under severe thermal shock conditions. It is therefore perfectly suited for production of high layer count PCBs with multiple inner layers and advanced HDI any-layer / ELIC technology. As the successor of the famous Printoganth® U process (production capacity of over 25 million m²/year) Printoganth® U Plus has a remarkable reference list with leading HDI manufacturers especially from Taiwan and China.
Vertical electroless copper
Printoganth MV TP1

Printoganth MV TP1

  • Printoganth® MV TP1 and Printoganth® MV Plus: Printoganth® MV TP1 is designed to provide highest throwing power (TP) into blind micro vias and their wedges enabling ultra-fine lines and spaces of 10/10 μm and below. Moreover, it enables excellent dry film adhesion and fast etching of the copper deposit. It is therefore perfectly suited to fulfill future IC substrate manufacturer’s demands utilizing the SAP technology. Furthermore, the production proven Printoganth® MV Plus process complements the IC substrates portfolio as a process capable of mixed production of copper cladded materials and bare laminates due to high bath activity. Additional auxiliary systems for automatic process control ensure constant, reliable performance with maximum production safety.
  • Printoganth® PV: Printoganth® PV is a low to medium build process and enables blister-free copper deposition on a wide range of the most challenging base materials due to its unique internal stress characteristics. Combined with its outstanding reliability performance, Printoganth® PV is a highly versatile, mass production proven electroless copper process for advanced MLB, HDI as well as flex / flex-rigid applications.
  • Noviganth® LS Plus: Noviganth® LS Plus is a mass production proven vertical electroless copper process that has been optimized as a robust and cost effective solution for low to medium technology vertical MLB / HDI customers. Combined with our dedicated vertical desmear processes, Noviganth® LS Plus offers maximum performance at minimized cost.
Direct plating
Typical BMV plating results with Ecopact CP (100/75 μm, FR4 after flash plating)

Typical BMV plating results with Ecopact CP (100/75 μm, FR4 after flash plating)

  • Ecopact® CP and Ecopact® CP E: Ecopact® CP is a well-established conductive polymer based direct metallization process that is suitable for both vertical and horizontal application. It is environmental friendly because of low consumption and waste water generation and no use of harmful substances like cyanide or formaldehyde. Thus, Ecopact® CP is the green alternative to electroless copper processes for HDI, MLB and Flex / Flex-Rigid production. An economic version called Ecopact® CP E is available for pure multi layer production at lowest running cost.
  • Neopact®: Neopact® is an organic-stabilized and palladium based technology. It has an unparalleled ability to adhere to almost any type of base material. Even on Teflon, Neopact® achieves excellent plating results. This makes it the ideal choice for HDI, MLB and flex applications with “exotic” laminates. The easy to handle process is based on environmental friendly chemistry making Neopact® a future oriented alternative to the classical electroless copper process. It is applicable in horizontal and vertical mode.
Metallization of displays
TeloTech TS Black

Top: Copper feature as received, bottom: Copper feature blackened by TeloTech® TS Black

  • CupraTech® TS and TeloTech® TS Black – Metallization of Touch Sensors based on Copper Mesh: ITO (Indium-Tin-Oxide) based transparent conductive films are the state of the art technology that is applied in most touch sensors manufactured worldwide. Recently, several competing technologies emerge to enable flexible and large size touch sensors – not possible with the ITO based technology. Atotech is providing chemical solutions for one of the most promising technologies based on copper mesh as conductive layer. CupraTech® TS is enabling electroless copper deposition on seed different seed layer whereas TeloTech TS Black is minimizing the visual perception of conductor tracks on substrates.
  • CupraTech® FPD – Metallization of Flat Panel Displays: The contemporary metallization technique for the thin-film-transistor (TFT) in liquid-crystal-displays (LCD) is classical copper sputtering. Atotech offers solutions to replace copper sputtering by electroless copper deposition and therefore overcome several disadvantages of copper sputtering like the stress transfer of the sputtered copper to the glass substrate resulting in high warpage and the risk of glass breakage. In addition, electroless copper is capable of plating thick copper layers that might become a requirement for the next generations of flat panel displays in order to ensure sufficient conductivity of the copper structures. CupraTech® FPD is a high speed electroless copper process enabling excellent surface distribution and low surface roughness performance – both key requirements for this application. Atotech supplies not only chemistry but also high-tech horizontal conveyorized equipment adapted to the requirements of the flat panel display industry especially to the transportation of thin and large size glass panels. Using our dedicated VisioPlate equipment enables FPD manufacturers to achieve the best possible technical performance while mitigating the environmental impact.

Uniplate® P/LB

Cutting edge mass production equipment for desmear and electroless copper process in horizontal transportation mode

The Uniplate® P/LB system is the market leading production equipment for high-end HDI as well as IC substrates manufacturing.

  • Uniplate® P – reliable and stable desmear performance of through holes and BMVs with the same process conditions for each treated panel
  • Uniplate® LB – uniform electroless copper deposition and excellent throwing power performance due to the unique flooding device systems for optimized solution exchange

Read more

“We continuously invest R&D resources in key technology areas to maintain our technological leadership and make our processes more environmentally friendly.”

Lars-Eric Pribyl, Global Product Manager Desmear and Metallization, Atotech Germany

Recent publications

The Impact of Hydrogen Gas Evolution on Blister Formation in Electroless Cu Films

2015, PDF, 2.250 KB
Electroless Cu plating is a key process to provide electrically conductive layers on insulating substrates for the subsequent Cu electroplating of printed-circuit boards (PCBs). Recently introduced substrate materials are prone to spontaneous delamination failure (blistering) of the electroless layer during deposition. A higher Ni content in the electroless Cu baths prevents delamination failure by increasing the internal tensile stress in the Cu layer. This effect is achieved by suppressing Cu self-diffusion through the incorporation of small amounts of Ni in the grain boundaries and the grain boundaries junctions.

Properties of electroless Cu films optimized for horizontal plating as a function of deposit thickness

2015, PDF, 1.520 KB
The properties of electroless films produced from a bath designed for horizontal plating, the preferred technology for high production volumes in printed circuit board metallization, are reported. Film thickness, substrate type and electrolyte temperature were varied. Formation of a continuous layer of copper film is correlated with a change in the visual and spectroscopic appearance.

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