An extensive research is at the core of
understanding phenomena encountered
in metal plating. Read more about
results and developments:
Functional Electronic Coatings –
Focus on SVHC Substitution
2012, July – In July, Atotech’s customer STMicroelectronics published the 15th edition of its Sustainability Report. Atotech was kindly asked to contribute by explaining how Atotech, in line with the company’s green manufacturing strategy, anticipates and builds regulatory requirements into new substances and products. STMicroelectronics required the substitution of boric acid in its Chinese manufacturing sites ST Longgang, followed by ST Shenzhen.
In early 2010, several tests with the substitute Atotech process Becastrip BF were conducted and achieved the qualification. Currently, Atotech and ST Microelectronics are working together on other chemical substitution projects in a collaborative approach.
Atotech closely monitors EHS legislation that impacts its business. The company constantly assesses the new products needs from local entities and initiates corresponding research and development projects.
Dr. Juergen Barthelmes, Atotech Business Manager Functional Electronic Coatings adds: “To generate new ideas and find alternative substances, we closely cooperate with suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and external institutes/universities. Collaboration is also proposed with our customers to test new products and technologies using pilot sites.”
Stannacid HS – Semi-bright Tin Electrolyte Based on Sulfuric Acid
2012, May – With Stannacid HS, Atotech launched a new acidic, fluoroborate-free pure tin electrolyte, which is based on sulfuric acid. It has been specifically developed for continuous plating of strips, wires, connectors and leadframes in modern reel-to-reel and spot installations.
- White deposit due to unique large, flat grain structure
- Strongly reduced whisker propensity
- Due to smooth morphology and large crystal grain size,
low tension pure tin deposits show outstanding reflow,
wettability and solderability characteristics – even after steam aging
- Smooth Sn deposits over a wide current density range (5 to 25 A/dm²)
- Free of any nonylphenol ethoxylate
- Complies with EU Directive 2003/53/CE on NPE and Cr6+ cement
marketing and usage restrictions
< Smooth surface morphology of a Stannacid HS plated part (above), FIB (Focused Ion Beam) cut displaying the large grains (below)
Argalux® NC mod – Cyanide-free Alkaline Silver Process
2012, May – Argalux® NC mod is Atotech’s new mildly cyanide-free alkaline silver process, providing bright silver coatings for electronic and decorative applications.
- Can be directly applied over silver, brass, bronze and copper surfaces
- No need for separate silver strike stage
- Bright white and shiny coatings with excellent thickness distribution
- Exceptional covering and throwing power
- No additional heating
- Suited for rack and barrel application as well as for medium reel-to-reel operation
Ultinal NC – Bright Cyanide-free Alkaline Copper Process
2012, April – Ultinal NC is Atotech’s new environmentally sound cyanide-free alkaline copper plating solution, providing bright deposits with a good adhesion. It can be processed directly on steel and Cu-alloys.
- Suitable for rack, barrel and high-speed plating
- Superior throwing power
- Produces excellent layer for subsequent acid copper, nickel or tin plating
- Very stable and easy to operate
- Environmentally sound cyanide-free process, complying with EU regulations to restrict hazardous materials
- Alternative to cyanide based copper processes
StannoPure® HSM STDM – High Performance Pure Tin Process for all Electronic Needs
2012, April – StannoPure® HSM STDM is an acidic, fluoroborate-free, foam reduced pure tin electrolyte that has been specifically developed for continuous plating of strips, wires, connectors and lead frames in modern reel-to-reel and spot installations. StannoPure® HSM STDM is a pure tin alternative to lead-containing deposits, commonly used for electrical and electronic devices. It is complying with international legislations to ban the use of lead.
StannoPure® HSM STDM
- StannoPure® HSM STDM consists of an ALL-IN-ONE additive –
which enables easy and simple process maintenance.
- Provides a unique deposit that exhibits a lower tendency to whisker formation
- StannoPure® HSM STDM shows superior high current density performance
- Excellent solderability due to smooth morphology and the large crystal grain size
Protectostan® Plus – Protective 2-in-1 Post-treatment Process for Tin and Tin alloys
2012, March – Protectostan® Plus is Atotech’s new 2-in-1 post-treatment for tin surfaces to prevent reflow discoloration as well as the oxidation and discoloration of tin after exposure to heat and humidity. It is an easy to apply water soluble immersion type process with no hazardous ingredients.
- Protectostan® Plus creates a hydrophobic coating on top to
protect tin surfaces from any environmental exposure.
- Prevents tin surface discoloration upon storage and thus preserves solderability
- Can be easily integrated into existing plating lines
- Suitable for use in reel-to-reel installations, as well as rack and barrel plating
Betatec EL – Protective Electrophoretic Post-treatment
for Increasing Corrosion Resistance of Metal or Metal Alloy Surfaces
2012, March – Betatec EL is a neutral, water soluble post-treatment process that is applied anodically. It is especially developed for Ni-Au and Ni-PdNi-Au metal surfaces. Betatec EL improves the corrosion resistance of metal surfaces during storage, which can lead to conductivity and solderability problems.
- Reduction of gold consumption – significant cost savings
- Betatec EL causes the metal surface to be hydrophobic in order to repel corrosive vapours.
- Passes extreme tests and resists nitric acid (NAV test)
- Treated parts withstand up to 120 hours in NSST.
- Betatec EL coatings endure extensive heat treatments and reflow operations
- Can be used in reel-to-reel installations, as well as rack and barrel plating
New Functional Electronic Coatings R&D TechCenter in Singapore
2011, Oktober – On October 5, 2011 Atotech celebrated the Grand Opening of its new R&D TechCenter for Functional Electronic Coatings in Singapore. Around 100 guests took part to the inauguration. Among those, Xavier Baraton (Director of Packaging and Automation, St Microelectronics) and YF Yap (R&D Manager at Dynacraft Industries) also took the floor at the introductory technical session and discussed with Atotech’s management on the latest improvements in leadframe packages’ reliability. A guided tour of the facility introduced all participants to the capabilities of the TechCenter and officially concluded this important event.
The new FEC R&D TechCenter in Singapore is the latest addition to Atotech’s continuously growing network of TechCenters, operating worldwide. Dedicated to serve the IC / Leadframe industry, the new TechCenter is equipped with a rack pilot line for pretreatment, overflow cells for high-speed Sn and Ni plating, a Jet Plater Microlab for spot plating and a MoldPrep / AgPrep line for sampling and testing of adhesion promoters on copper, silver and nickel.
A wide range of advanced analytical equipment is also available, providing routine analysis as well as sophisticated investigations on customer samples.