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Electroplating Thick Films of Rhodium

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000078496D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-26
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brock, GW: AUTHOR [+7]

Abstract

Thick electroplated films of rhodium do not normally adhere well to substrates. This is due to the fact that rhodium films exhibit internal tensile or compressive stresses which cause bond failure, for example, in the form of flaking.

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Electroplating Thick Films of Rhodium

Thick electroplated films of rhodium do not normally adhere well to substrates. This is due to the fact that rhodium films exhibit internal tensile or compressive stresses which cause bond failure, for example, in the form of flaking.

Thick electroplated films of rhodium are provided by providing stress reducing layers upon which to electroplate the rhodium. This is especially useful where the to-be-plated surface is nonmetallic.

In one technique, a to-be-plated ceramic suriace is cleaned and degreased utilizing conventional techniques. The surface is then vacuum metallized with chromium to a thickness of about 500 angstroms. The thus-deposited chromium is then vacuum plated to a thickness of about 1,000 angstroms with copper, and the copper layer is electroplated to a thickness of about 5,000 angstroms with white gold (gold-nickel-zinc). Following this preparation, it is possible to electroplate rhodium to a thickness of greater than 100 microinches. The rhodium thus plated is smooth and shows no tendency to flake or delaminate.

In another technique, a nonmetallic substrate is sputter-etched after conventional cleaning and then coated with a refractory metal, such as tantalum, by RF bias sputtering techniques. The tantalum is then coated with copper by RF sputtering, and the copper electroplated with rhodium to a thickness greater than 100 microinches. Rhodium plated by this technique also shows excellent resistance to flaki...