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September 2016

Daniel Schmidt
Head of Electronics Marketing Worldwide

Dear readers,

Welcome to the latest edition of Semiconductor. In this issue, we are delighted to share some more information on MultiPlate: our revolutionary new tool for next generation packaging technologies. Ever since its launch a few months ago, we are encouraged by the overwhelming interest our customers have shown in this product. It further inspires us to innovate, rethink and challenge the conventional norms and further push the boundaries.

Another major milestone for us this year has been the opening of our high tech chemical production site in Penang, Malaysia. The new Penang facility exemplifies our commitment to quality, safety and superior technology.

Lastly, please join me in welcoming Harald Ahnert, who has been appointed the Vice President of Atotech’s Electronics division. Harald is no stranger to Atotech. He has led a number of key leadership positions across the board and will now be spearheading our semiconductor strategy.

Uwe Hauf, who led this division successfully for over 10 years, will take on new responsibilities as the Chief Technology Officer.

We sincerely hope that you find this newsletter informative, interesting and useful. We look forward to your valuable feedback and suggestions so we can keep improving it further.

Very Best regards,

Daniel Schmidt
Head of Electronics Marketing Worldwide

Corporate News

New Leadership

Join us in welcoming Harald Ahnert as the new VP Electronics and Uwe Hauf as Atotech’s CTO

Harald Ahnert | VP Electronics, Atotech

We are delighted to share that effective 1st of April, Harald Ahnert has been appointed the Vice President of Atotech’s Electronics division and will be spearheading our electronics business globally. With close to two decades with the company, Harald is no stranger to Atotech. He joined Atotech in 1997 and since then led a number of successful projects, built strong customer partnerships and held key leadership positions across the board in Electronics and General Metal Finishing. In his previous position as Managing Director Harald led Atotech’s activities in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

Atotech’s President Reinhard Schneider said:

“In a dynamic and often volatile business environment, succession planning for our electronics division was particularly crucial for us. It was important for our company to appoint someone who has a broad understanding of the global market requirements and future trends along with a strong commitment to our customers’ expectations and goals. Since the initial years, Harald has been deeply involved in our Asian business. His experience within the Asian environment and strong customer focus are certainly important to Atotech.”

Uwe Hauf | CTO, Atotech

As we welcome Harald, we would like to express our gratitude to Uwe Hauf for his outstanding leadership and vision in successfully steering our Electronics business over the past 10 years. Uwe, who has been with Atotech for over 25 years, will continue to play an important role in the company – this time as the Chief Technology Officer.

In his new role, Uwe will be responsible for ensuring the efficiency of Atotech’s development procedures and practices in order to catalyze a fast time-to-market approach.

“Uwe has been indispensable to Atotech’s success. He continually brings an exceptional leadership style along with wealth of knowledge, which has impacted both us and our customers. As someone who thrives on new challenges, we could not have found anyone better than Uwe to lead our new initiatives,” added Mr. Schneider.

Both, Harald and Uwe will be based at Atotech’s head-office in Berlin.

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Schmidt
Head of Global Marketing Electronics
Atotech Deutschland GmbH
+49 (0)30 – 349 85 423

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia

With an initial investment of RM 50 M, the new facility will cater to the growing demand of Atotech’s solutions in South East Asia.

On 11th of March this year, Atotech inaugurated its new plant in Penang, Malaysia. The announcement comes just months after the company invested heavily in a new equipment production facility in Guangzhou, China – underlining the growing demand for our products and solutions in the region. The new facility encompasses a built-up area of 7,500 sqm and a full production capacity of 12.000 t/a at single-shift operation. The operations will create an additional 35 new jobs, which are expected to increase further within the coming years.

The state-of-the-art chemical plant is built on the highest standards of quality, safety and sustainability. Marking a new milestone in Atotech’s Malaysian operations, the expansion is aimed at supporting our large customer-base in the region developing next generation electronics goods. In a fast-paced industry facing tremendous cost pressures, this RM 50 M investment is in-line with Atotech’s localization strategy. It will play an important role in developing new ways for customers to achieve improved efficiencies through smarter utilization of raw-material and water whilst being able to sustainably and traceably manage the quality of the input material as well as the finished goods.

At the inauguration ceremony held in Penang, Atotech’s President Mr. Reinhard Schneider said:

“The Penang facility further strengthens our presence in Asia and demonstrates our commitment to the region. We have a long tradition of developing innovative solutions in close cooperation with our customers. This new plant will allow us to foster our existing alliances as well as form new ones. “

Joachim Stecher, Atotech’s Managing Director Malaysia added:

“For us this corporate investment is an important step forward in responding to the increasing local demand in Malaysia and neighboring countries for Atotech products. Malaysia is a strategically chosen hub for our chemical production and supply to local markets, as well as to other South East Asian and Far East countries. The Penang plant will set benchmarks within our industries and serve our Electronics customer base and prospects.”

Atotech also plans to intensify its technical service capability for the region, by setting up a TechCenter at the Penang facility. Highly trained professionals will carry out development tests, prototype assessments and pilot productions for customers and OEMs.

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia

Product highlights

Zincation process

Atotech’s new acidic process for universal Aluminum pretreatment (3thirds)

Figure 1: Zincade process

Figure 2: Treatment sample with Zincade

Figure 3: Treatment sample for AlSi (0, 5 %) Si) wafer

Currently, there is a large variety of Al-alloys used in the industry as interconnect material – spanning from pure Al, AlCu, AlSi to AlSiCu alloys and more. These materials need to be connected during the packaging process to other metals as Nickel, Cu etc. Before that can be done Aluminum type surfaces have to be transformed into a Zinc surface. And this specific treatment is called Zincation process, which removes oxide layers, prevents reoxidation and ensures a reliable adhesion to the adjacent materials.

Atotech recently developed a new acidic universal Zincation process to treat all Aluminium type surface with just one process. It is deployed in the pre-treatment step before electroless Nickel is applied as part of an ENIG or ENEPIG process.

Benefits of the new acidic universal Aluminium process:

  • One for Al(l): all types of Al can be treated with a single process flow
  • Compatible with Polyimide passivations
  • No silver migration – no silver additives
  • No Amines – no cross contaminations by volatile products
  • Room temperature process

Process Description: Universal acidic Zincation

The process (figure 1) involves two treatments before the Zincation treatment can be performed. Zincation is performed twice. The first Zincate layer is applied and removed right away. Thereafter, the same process is repeated and Zincate is re-applied. layer. Double Zincation ensures a smooth and regular deposit. A thin Zinc layer of approximately 30-40 nm is built up.

After the second Zincation, a layer of electroless Nickel is applied. The Nickel is completely replacing the Zincate layer by an immersion process and can be built up to 3-5 µm.

Treatment examples

The first example (as shown in figure 2) is a treatment of a pure Al wafer treated with conventional Zincation compared to Atotech’s new universal acidic Zincation followed by e’less Nickel deposition. The standard Zincation results in non-closed Nickel layer reflecting an irregular Zincation process whereas the new Zincation process delivers a regular and closed Nickel deposit.

The second example ( as shown in figure 3) is a 1:1 comparison for an AlSi (0, 5 %) Si) wafer with PI passivation (cross hatched structure) after treatment in alkaline and the new acidic Zincation process, followed by electroless Ni plating. These wafers are especially difficult to handle as AlSi itself is one of the most demanding surfaces and Polyimide is sensitive to alkaline pH: Our new acidic process supplies a regular and dot free surface whereas the alkaline treatment known also as being very powerful fails to deliver proper results.


The new acidic universal Zincation process delivers a reliable pretreatment for all Al type wafers for subsequent metallization. It is compatible with PI passivations and resists and does not contain any migration metals (Ag).

For more information, please contact:

Bernd Roelfs
Global Product Manager
Semiconductor Advanced Packaging
Atotech Deutschland GmbH
+49 (0)30 – 349 85 965

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia

Atotech expands its Asian operations

New chemical facility inaugurated in Penang, Malaysia