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Method for Selectively Plating Hard-To-Plate Substrates

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038831D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Romankiw, LT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

It is known that a laser can be used to achieve maskless plating and etching. There are many materials (such as Al) which are very difficult or impossible to plate conventionally due to the extremely strong surface oxides (native oxides) the metals possess in an ambient air environment. A method is disclosed for plating these metals, ordinarily impossible to plate without a number of costly preliminary steps. The metals can be plated and patterned without the use of an external mask or expensive photolithography. The sample is immersed in a plating solution of zinc or copper to produce patterned depositions of either one of these materials by way of standard or laser-enhanced plating techniques.

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Method for Selectively Plating Hard-To-Plate Substrates

It is known that a laser can be used to achieve maskless plating and etching. There are many materials (such as Al) which are very difficult or impossible to plate conventionally due to the extremely strong surface oxides (native oxides) the metals possess in an ambient air environment. A method is disclosed for plating these metals, ordinarily impossible to plate without a number of costly preliminary steps. The metals can be plated and patterned without the use of an external mask or expensive photolithography. The sample is immersed in a plating solution of zinc or copper to produce patterned depositions of either one of these materials by way of standard or laser-enhanced plating techniques. To produce localized plating, a Q-switched Nd-YAG laser is focused onto the substrate to remove a local region of the oxide while at the same time applying a potential between cathode and anode. Upon removal of the oxide, plating will occur since the substrate in the region of the removed oxide is extremely clean and conducting (electrically). Unexposed regions will not plate due to the remaining oxide layer which here acts as an in-situ mask. The important difference between the present method and prior methods is that no coating need be applied as a mask since the oxide is inherently present. This procedure allows one to plate difficult materials such as aluminum. Aluminum has applications as an inexpensive circuit...