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Semi-Additive Process (SAP) Utilizing Very Uniform Ultrathin Copper by A Novel Catalyst

Published:

September 2, 2020

Author:

Steve Iketani, Mike Vinson

Abstract:

The demand for miniaturization and higher density electronic products has continued steadily for years, and this trend is expected to continue, according to various semiconductor technology and applications roadmaps. The printed circuit board (PCB) must support this trend as the central interconnection of the system. There are several options for fine line circuitry. A typical fine line circuit PCB product using copper foil technology, such as the modified semi-additive process (mSAP), uses a thin base copper layer made by pre-etching. The ultrathin copper foil process (SAP with ultrathin copper foil) is facing a technology limit for the miniaturization due to copper roughness and thickness control. The SAP process using sputtered copper is a solution, but the sputtering process is expensive and has issues with via plating. SAP using electroless copper deposition is another solution, but the process involved is challenged to achieve adequate adhesion and insulation between fine-pitch circuitries. A novel catalyst system--liquid metal ink (LMI)--has been developed that avoids these concerns and promotes a very controlled copper thickness over the substrate, targeting next generation high density interconnect (HDI) to wafer-level packaging substrates and enabling 5-micron level feature sizes. This novel catalyst has a unique feature, high density, and atomic-level deposition. Whereas conventional tin-palladium catalyst systems provide sporadic coverage over the substrate surface, the deposited catalyst covers the entire substrate surface. As a result, the catalyst enables improved uniformity of the copper deposition starting from the initial stage while providing higher adhesion and higher insulation resistance compared to the traditional catalysts used in SAP processes. This article discusses this new catalyst process, which both proposes a typical SAP process using the new catalyst and demonstrates the reliability improvements through a comparison between a new SAP PCB process and a conventional SAP PCB process....

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Company Information:

Averatek Corporation

Averatek Corporation is a high tech company based in Santa Clara, CA that provides custom design services and patterned circuit board materials manufactured through the use of an innovative, proprietary process.

Santa Clara, California, USA

Components / Substrates

  • Phone 408) 496-1010

Averatek Corporation website

Company Postings:

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