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Browse Prior Art Database

Electroplating System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000084399D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Schwartz, BC: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This system, provides efficient and controllable means for electrodepositing metals, and is especially useful for the production of articles including metallic thin films. It operates on a to-be-plated workpiece, not shown, located within the plating cell. By controlling electrolyte flow, temperature, concentration and other parameters in a continuous manner, this system provides both high uniformity and reproducibility of plating results for either laboratory or production requirements.

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Electroplating System

This system, provides efficient and controllable means for electrodepositing metals, and is especially useful for the production of articles including metallic thin films. It operates on a to-be-plated workpiece, not shown, located within the plating cell. By controlling electrolyte flow, temperature, concentration and other parameters in a continuous manner, this system provides both high uniformity and reproducibility of plating results for either laboratory or production requirements.

As shown schematically, the flow line represents the flow of electrolytes throughout the system. The electrolyte is initially introduced into the holding tank. Residing within the holding tank are both heating elements 1 and cooling elements 2. Also present for mixing and agitating the electrolyte is magnetic stirrer 3. This arrangement allows the temperature of the solution in the holding tank to be controlled precisely by constantly cooling the electrolyte with cooling element 2, while simultaneously heating the solution with one or more thermostatically controlled heaters 1. This arrangement allows desired solution temperature to be achieved quickly, since the heaters 1 can be operated at a high rate while using the cooling elements 2 to avoid overshooting a desired temperature.

When the desired temperature level of the solution is achieved, the electrolyte travels from the holding tank to the plating cell by a spill-way arrangement. The gradual ramp slope of the spillway provides a laminar flow of solution to prevent air entrapment and bubbling of the electrolytes, which may be especially important when wetting agents are included in the solution. The spillway and its associated tank also serves to average out fluctuations in temperature in the electrolyte leaving the holding tank, and thus provides thermal capacitance.

The feeding arrangement fromthe spillway tank to the plating cell includes a tube which directs fresh electrolyte to the bottom of the plating cell, to encourage maximum uniformity and mixing of electrolytes in the cell. While not shown, the plating cell is designed for fixturing a c...